Aged care AIN: ‘Crying in the pan room’
An aged care Assistant in Nursing writes: I have just read Belinda’s story, Not enough nurses in the nursing home. Wow. It seems this problem is everywhere. But I am gobsmacked to hear there are four members of staff to 30 residents. Where I work we have two per 30 residents! And out of that two, after 13:00 we only have one to do all the care on their own.
Where I work, we AINs no longer have to ask for permission to administer s8 drugs, we also have to attend to dressings. All we have to do is ring our on-duty RN and state where the pain is and how bad it is. We only have an RN on duty up until 17:00-18:00. The rest of the night is in our hands.
We are still showering and changing residents at lunchtime. Most days we do not walk out of work until we have written up on residents’ care and behaviours. We do this in our own time as we get into trouble for not writing notes. We do not have any time some days for breaks. We go home mentally and physically exhausted. We the AIN/CSE are always having family members come to other residents’ rooms demanding we stop what we are doing and attend to their care. I have been asked on occasions where I have just completed an eight-hour shift to work until 23:00 as care staff have rung in sick. I will not do it but some will. And then they expect you to front again at 07:00 to do another eight-hour shift. That is how mistakes happen. They also roster you on for nine to 10 days straight.
I’m sorry for the rant. But all of us AINs need your help. This government needs to stand up and listen. They need to walk a day in our shoes. When we are trained we are told the resident comes first. But we can only do care on one person who is classified as two-person assist at that given time. To get through the day and the care, sometimes staff will toilet a resident and let them sit and go to another resident who is buzzing to go to the toilet. We are the classic case of attending to four-five residents at the same time.
That’s not care, that is continuous rollover like we are working in a factory. Only it’s not a factory it is a nursing home , our residents’ home.
I feel ashamed to even say that I am an AIN in aged care. Most days we find ourselves crying in a laundry or in a pan room because we are letting the residents down, we are incapable of doing the tasks and care set before us.
We are concerned for our residents, who have become our family. We would do any thing for our residents, which includes being run off our feet.
Previously on Nurse Uncut: