I’ve been looking for the right way to describe, explain and express myself for days to better understand why I quit my vocation as a PAB. If I could sum it up in one sentence, I would say “My job is destroying me” both physically and psychologically. I do not seek pity, I only ask for a little empathy, listening and gratitude, understanding, but above all support, the desire to make you realize … that I’m trying to save my colleagues as well as hospital patients, and maybe get some of what I gave so much …!
First, average between the minimum and maximum number of patients assigned to an attendant. A typical day where I have 14 patients. I arrive at 7am. I have to distribute lunch at 8am. I obviously have to lift the 14 patients in the chair (to boost their autonomy) in an hour, we understand each other on that?
I would like to know, how long do you think a person puts to lift these 14 patients considering that there is on average (without exaggerating):
– 2 patients paralyzed on one side.
– 2 very confused patients who made in their pants and did damage in their bed, their hands, their faces … (Change of urgent bed, we get along ???)
– 2 very heavy patients who suffer from the back.
– 2 patients connected to pumps with oxygen glasses and probes, in short filled with son !!!
– 2 patients who must explain and re-explain the principles of the walker (to stimulate their autonomy) and install them in a geriatric chair with belt and tablet.
– 1 patient to install straight in bed, pillow on the back, because he must remain bedridden.
– 2 patients who are easy to mobilize, but who refuse to get up and become aggressive.
– 1 autonomous patient. (Joy!)
But that’s not all. While we have to lift all these patients:
– 6 of them need to go to the toilet, to move (to stimulate their autonomy) and the others one must, either change their panties, or install them on the basin or the commode.
In an hour, do you think it is possible to do all this right ???
I put importance on the word WELL and I explain myself …
I speak of “doing well” in the sense that:
– I like when my patients work themselves as much as possible to mobilize (it stimulates their autonomy), but I could also take them by the under arms and panties and shoot, saying “Go we get up” that would go faster !!!
– I also like when my patients have the genitals and clean hands when they go to the toilet (it’s healthier), but I could camouflage it with a new incontinence panties, without washing their hands and nobody would know, it would go faster!
– I also like answering call bells as efficiently as possible. (Often the needs of patients are important), but I could simply turn off the call bell without responding to the patient’s request, it would go faster!
Well, let’s go back to lunch. At each meal, I put an apron on them and make sure they have clean hands.
Of the 14 meals distributed:
– 9 of them need help to open all their containers.
– 7 of them do not grease their roast and we assist them the time they do it with instructions (to stimulate their autonomy).
– 2 of them do not eat without help.
How much time do you allow a person to feed two humans ???
Then the PAB should pick up all the meal trays, record the percentage of food eaten by the patient and note if applicable the dosages of liquid drunk.
Now, to continue in the not exaggerated averages …
– 9 partial or complete baths must be done (on average, according to our work plan).
– 3 beds must be changed completely (not counting the unexpected).
How much time do you ALLOW to do these tasks ???
I still explain the word “WELL” …
– I like to clean my patients carefully. Soap, rinse, wipe, cream (they deserve it), but I could also use only the non-rinsing soap that does not eliminate odors and feels nothing and wipe very quickly leaving moisture, no one know it, it would go faster!
– I like doing the beard of my patients. They are old but still have a sense of pride and I feel like they are feeling better (it is surely psychological on my part). I could tell myself, the beard can last another day or two, the employees of tomorrow will do it, it would go faster!
(and I often say to myself, I have no choice).
– I like when my own patients sleep in a clean bed. I just could not do it when the bed does not seem stained, it would go faster!
Then comes dinner time. I could repeat the same paragraph as the lunch (it would have more impact), but I will abstain hoping that this part there, was well understood … it will go faster!
To make shorter in all the tasks that I have not yet mentioned, I will add them here … Please note that we finish our work at 15h. Saving a lot of details, since the days follow each other, but are not alike …!
– Half of patients want to go to bed after lunch, get up for dinner, go back to bed after dinner and sometimes get up again. (Average of 21 mobilizations).
– Almost all go to the toilet 3 times a day (13 × 3 = 39), (For an autonomous patient not to forget) !!!
Look closely, just the last sentence in parenthesis … 39 TIMES back and forth from the toilet or change of panties!
How much time do you allow someone to do this task 39 times ???
(Do not forget to add to this the 9 partial baths or not, the 3 bed changes and the list that follows …)
– 3 patients must be prepared for an examination. What turns out to be new mobilizations.
– 1 departure or patient admission (which includes preparation time).
– 5 snacks to distribute to people with diabetes (we do not run them on the tables, it indicates here to install the patient so that he is able to eat or feed him if he is not able to do it alone).
– Empty soiled pockets in the laundry chute. (Average 7 per day, if there are no cases in isolation).
– Disinfect all dirty bag trolleys
– Do the task of the week (ex: wash the fridge belonging to all staff).
– Fill the trolleys with lingerie, cleansers, creams, panties, etc.
– Pick up the trainees on the tables of patients and disinfect them.
– Each stretcher or wheelchair must be disinfected after use.
– Not to mention that we have on average 1h15 min. break and dinner combined.
Also, many unforeseen happen at the wrong time. On average (I like to do an average of my 5 years of experience) 2 of this list arrive at least daily.
– Reversal of pitcher of water.
– Stool or urine damage.
– Bad meal tray (must go to the cafeteria to look for another).
-Commission to do for nurse (go in sterilization or go to get an order at the laboratory).
-Patient at risk of falling who gets up alone too often (close monitoring difficult to do when one is busy with another task).
-To walk patients, according to the recommendation table of the mobilization program.
– Empty oxygen tanks when needed immediately.
– Patients in isolation (C difficile or MRSA) who require more preparation time.
– Team meeting every morning (where often the attendants are sometimes too busy to attend, and it does not always seem very important to some of the rest of the staff that the attendant does not know the problems of his patients ).
– Update the work plan and sign the tasks done.
– Cleaning basins, bath bowls and other equipment.
– Patient who uses the call bell regularly because it is hot, cold, is poorly installed, it pricks him in the back, is worried, etc.
Do you allocate how much time to unforeseen ???
Please note, that my patients have always been MY PRIORITY. I also know that they liked me. I have often been thanked for my sweetness and delicacy. I really liked the new mobility program (getting patients moving) by setting goals for patients about their ability to walk, to go farther and farther, and their ADL. My first goal was to put happiness in their day, they needed it! In addition, I still had the chance to work with gold nurses who were also exhausted at work because they (or they) helped a lot to mobilize patients in addition to their tasks … and I thank them! On the other hand, with all the work that ensued most of the time, I must admit that I was more than exhausted at the end of the day.
Now, I want to mention something important to me (which concerns everyone). The lack of solidarity between “some colleagues” or other shifts … Here I make an important point because I have been affected by myself as many, and I have noticed it all too often not to mention it.
Before you share it I insist on a precision. All of the things I said above about what I like to “do well” with patients, have been done on my behalf with all my heart and all my energy. I always did my tasks as best as I could by giving myself 100%. Taking care of the patients, I never had this school of thought which says “It will go faster”!
Let us now mention the negative remarks (of some people) that I call in another term “bitching” and which can affect performance, esteem and self-confidence and that can lead to exhaustion by dint of wanting to be perfect to satisfy and please everyone …
I will add in parentheses my personal remark.
– Complaint from a colleague of the evening figure that snacks are not picked up on patients’ tables. (In the worst case, there are just 5 of them hanging around, so by passing the glasses of water with your cart, you can easily pick them up ?!)
– Complaint of a colleague of the evening figure on the fact that the sheets of the patient chair were not changed at the same time as the bed. (When I change the patient’s bed, often the patient is sitting on his chair, so I can not change the chair sheet, I often miss my time, but you can at 10 o’clock in the evening when all patients are lying down !!! And if you do not have time … I will not judge you)
– Complaint from a colleague of the evening figure that the pants were not changed during the last tour. (If I start my last round of panties at 14h and you pass at 15:30, it is quite possible that you find one or two dirty panties.Do you think I never see dirty panties when I start my figure in the morning And no, I’m not complaining, I understand that it can be, since there is not yet a timer on the bladder of people …) !!!
– Complaint by another colleague that the emptying of soiled laundry bags or filling was not done. (No, I did not have the time today! It’s rare but it happens. My patients have been given priority! I too hope it will be better tomorrow !!!)
-Airmation from one colleague to another when I worked in a department where I was not used at all and who requires special care. “Ha no! They always send us short stories that are not used, I’m pretty tired! (Yououuu !! I’m here! It’s nice to start a day with a nice welcome like that !!! Especially when I’ve been anxious all night to the idea of having to go to work somewhere. where I’m not comfortable at all and that I was already apprehending this kind of attitude! I wonder why …)
-I say that I heard all the time in several departments, except in my usual department where my colleagues know me well. “SHE IS WHERE MY PRESIDENT? Or “Hey! Are you my attendant? Come here I need! (Heu … I have a name too and it is even more beautiful than “my attendant”! Also, I do not belong to you! We are a team of 3. Would it be possible to retain my name which is written on the board? !! At worst, write it on your arm if you have no memory …)
We try to teach children respect, acceptance, understanding, communication, in short, in the workplace could we apply these beautiful values? Believe me, The harmony and the quality of the accomplished work begins with all this …
These are all the reasons why I exhausted myself in wanting to satisfy everyone in what I thought was “My Vocation”.
The little drop that broke the camel now …!
I am single parent. I do not have a mother or mother-in-law available at all times, like many others, to take care of my child when needed. As I am alone with my child, I am not fortunate enough to reserve a budget for babysitting. Being available on the day number, one is required to be available and to work at least 2 nights a week. I sometimes manage to organize myself but here in this case it was more complicated. I was asked to work in the evening (in the department mentioned above where I am not comfortable and do not feel welcome) and to return by day the next day. I try by all means to find a solution. I’m asking for a refusal. I am told that according to the new convention, we can not do that anymore. I try to trade with another employee, I can not find anyone and I am not entitled to the list of employees. I then ask for a split vacation. I am refused too, I am not on time. So, I ask the reminder to propose another solution. Here is the solution I received, in a tone of voice as pleasant as a gastro: “Find yourself a babysitter like everyone else!”
I resigned !
NB (I would like to add that during my 5 years at the hospital in my region, I had wonderful meetings, I miss my colleagues with whom I developed a nice complicity, which made all the same It’s a pleasant atmosphere to work in. I also miss sunbathing in my patients’ day, for them I was in my shoes, and they appreciated how I took care of them. patients, who have allowed me to hold on all this time.Now, I am no longer there, but know that I will always support you and will involve me to recognize this rewarding vocation!