Harnett Manor

Of the many, many things I wish to say about working today at Harnett Manor, here are a few: I have worked other jobs before, though I concede that I have not worked that many. I worked today and got to see so many people, nurses, patients, old and young, colostomy bags, bed rashes, tired and old skin, tired and old lives and the sacrifice of the young lives around them who worked one nurse to ten patients or fifteen patients at one point. I could not have believed that things would stay so busy until I saw it, until today and I saw that eight hours of work was eight hours, there weren’t times where you didn’t know what to do. There were times when you knew exactly what you needed to do and could predict hours and hours of work ahead by task and activity with ease because there is a routine. There are checks for water in their thermoses, then checks for water in their briefs, there is work to be done in each of the rooms with garbage, there were dinners to be served, dinners to be fed individually to many patients, patients to be taken outside to let them smoke, patients who can barely smoke on their own, in fact can’t without the help of a nurse who can put the ciagerette to their mouth and light it for them because they can’t use their hands. I saw ironies like this throughout the night. Healthy nurses and nurse assistants helping patients continue with things like smoking which aren’t helping their health. I saw patients watching a television program where an atttractive young man is attracting an attractive young woman who wants his body and his motivation, his integrity and his stability. This program is on behind a nurse changing the diaper of the older patient who is a man, the young woman is not attracted to the old man because of his looks or his money, his integrity or his stability. She is attracted to him because she wants to help him, it’s all almost too much to take in. I knew it would be hard to work again in an assisted living facility, but I did not expect this. I did not expect what maybe I should have. I changed so many of my worldviews last time I worked in a health care facility, where I worked with nurses and served patients. I looked at humans fundamentally differently after it and I am beginning to do it again. I can see others differently, I certainly see myself differently and I only worked eight hours.