No Place Like a Nursing Home

Acting Medicare Administrator Kerry Weems was on C-SPAN's Washington Journal Monday morning discussing the direct relation between low paid nursing home workers and the quality of residents' care. As someone who's only been in the health care field for 2 months, I've already seen enough. I'm appalled by what's considered a "decent" place.

I started working as a CNA primarily because I just needed a job. My day consists of assisting or providing complete care for the elderly by changing diapers, dressing them, transporting them from bed to wheelchair. It's sweaty, hard work and we're always given more work than physically possible. Lots of the CNA's (mostly all women) take shortcuts, like using shaving cream instead of soap (it cuts the smell, cuts down wash time). I dislike most other CNA's I've worked with, with a few exceptions. But it's also the company that owns the nursing home (usually a for-profit investment firm) that's taking short cuts. The whole system sucks, and as usual I'm driven to save the world. Or at least Florida. Or Tampa. (I'm wearing myself out.)

I started my third position in three months yesterday. It's a nonprofit facility with a five-star rating. And they over staff instead of under staff, which is the opposite of how most other homes work. Imagine that: happy employees equaling happier residents. Is that really a progressive thought?!

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