13 April 2006

Consider yourselves honoured.

Two posts in one day, from two different locations. A rarity - and there may even be a third.

As I mentioned before, I have just trained to be a health care assistant. The reasons for this are multiple, one of the main reasons is work experience. I felt that I was lacking in hospital based work experience, and needed to balance up the large amount of work experience I've acrued with the ambulance service. Other less important reasons included; extra income, the chance to work with people, new skills to list on my CV, and an official recap of my resuscitation and first aid in line with the new guidelines.

The training provided was excellent because the instructor was interested in the subject, and managed to keep everyone's attention. It was a practical course (thankfully), and I managed to build up a skills portfolio that I can carry with me when I leave this university.

So, after being mauled around in the recovery position I went into a care home for the first time yesterday. Calling it 'the first time' may be a little lie. I have been into a care home many times before - usually with the ambulance service, but this is the first time I get to play 'staff'.

The experience was.....erm....interesting. The patients are no longer patients, or even clients or residents. They are 'service users'. OK, I can deal with that.

'Service users, service users, service users - got it!'

Ok, if I was a 'service user', or their family - I would be a little disappointed.
a) They're people not animals - patting someone on the head, whatever their mental state could be considered patronising.
b) It is inexcusable to swear at a 'service user' no matter what they have done, or their handicap - physical or mental
c) Leaving vulnerable people sitting in their rooms alone is a little depressing.
d) Does one wheelchair bound lady really require 5 wheelchairs in her room, or is her room being used as a temporary storeroom because she can't use the space??

Call me cynical, but I'm glad I won't ever be going back to that home ever again.


Jo said...

At my parents house, we have a wheelchair in the garage, a wheelchair in the living room, and a wheelchair that Dad actually uses. The only wheelchair that is actually owned by our family, afaik, is the one Dad uses. So your comment about storage space rings very true!

Universal Soldier said...

Unfortunately I suspect the home you worked in is far from unique.