I recently got a job as a carer in a home for elderly/dementia. I don’t have any experience.
I’m not sure what to do at the moment as I have a compromised immune system (immunosuppressants for my crohns disease) a lot of the residents have been ill with d&v for the past week and a half and then there’s the corona virus…
I was completely out of my depth yesterday because so many staff are off work because of symptoms either to do with d&v or symptoms that could be corona and I’m just struggling to do the job (I only shadowed for one shift and that’s it for experience). Health wise I feel fine but it’s obviously a concern for me. The managers argument was that this is the best place to be because its very contained environment and they stopped allowing visitors yesterday.
Info from IBD nurses I found said that people that are on immunos are not found to be at a significant risk of catching it. I’m not sure what to tell the manager at present. Taking all this into account what should I do?
Make a phone call and have a discussion with your G.P. If you don’t get through leave a message with reception. And /or send an on line message to the surgery.
It’s now all a personal choice. Only you can make the final decision.
how high is the risk though, do you think?
This is a forum for unpaid family carers, not paid carers, however I’d like to say something to help.
Shadowing for just one shift is not enough for you or the residents. You should be working alongside another member of staff until you feel confident working on your own. Have you told your manager about your own health situation?
ah sorry I didnt know.
Yeah I told the manager and he said: well it’s your health but you’re probably in the safest place because it’s contained environment, and visiters as of today aren’t allowed.
he then asked, almost rhetorically’ are you prepared to self isolate for 12 weeks? with no income’
which obviously I struggled to answer…
Ultimately it’s your decision.
The risk is definitely being managed, by excluding visitors and the chances of visitors having the virus and passing it on already must be very small indeed. None of us are 100% safe, even if we self isolate as we still need food, receive mail, etc. etc.
Nursing homes desperately need compassionate staff, especially make staff, and as the relative of a number of people who have had dementia, from what you have written you are kind and thoughtful, just the sort of person I’d want looking after a loved one.
Sadly, the demand for good dementia carers is only going to increase, so be sure to consider your long term prospects, which look to be good.
Yeah I’ve definitely been thrown in the deep end. And to answer one of the above questions, it’s a chain.
For training we had to do all these online courses stuffed into a week. information overload. Then I’ve only done one proper shadow shift as one I was ill for and the other I didn’t do anything but catering.
First thing I was asked to do yesterday was shower an elderly gentleman with dementia and change his pad on my own. Lovely fella but I was a bit overwhelmed. It just felt too much for me, what with me being completely new and such a staff shortage. Team leader is devoid of empathy.
it’s all well and good saying they’re desperate for staff but having someone like me who is so inexperienced can be a possible hindrance. Although I try my best.
That’s not fair on you. You need to shadow someone for a week or two, catering doesn’t count!