Emotional Wreck at Work (Part 3 of 3)

So this is the third and final installment of this series of posts.

This title doesn’t particularly fit per say, as this particular event was during my stint as a student nurse. So Emotional Wreck at Uni would of been more suitable, but hey ho. I wasn’t an emotional wreck in the sense that I cried, but more so because I was so angry with what had happened.

It was during my first ever placement in 2007, I was “working” in one of the hospitals on a surgical ward. I’ll always remember my time on this ward, not only for the incredibly hot freshly qualified nurse that worked there but also because of an elderly woman which was a patient during my time there.

The lady, who I will call, Hilda for the purpose of telling this story, was about 90 years old, and to my recollection had had some form of lower gastrointestinal surgery. Not only this, but she was suffering from slight Dementia also. Emphasis on the Slight.

On coming onto shift one morning and receiving the handover it was passed on that Hilda hadn’t eaten whist her stay on the ward.

Me: Why is she not eating?
Nurse: I don’t know!
Me: Well have you tried asking her why she isn’t eating?
Nurse: Of course we have! (in a rather sharpest tone)

I thought it best to leave it at that, after all I was only the student.

That lunch time I observed Hilda, as it turns out the people what had been giving her her meals would walk in, plonk down her tray on her table and walk out. On seeing this I went into the room and started speaking to her, explaining to her that her food was there, I pulled up her table and asked her if she would like her meal cutting up. She did, so I cut it up for her and handed her knife and fork. She ate her full meal that day. Basically all she needed was a little more time and patience.

Hilda would also often soil herself, and the Nurses and Health Care assistants would often go into the cubicle, clean her up, and not once interact with her whilst doing it. They often complained about having to deal with her.This really infuriated me. At the end of the day she was a living person and needed their help, she had had major surgery for her age and they where acting as though they where just doing the dishes or mopping the floor.

She would often sit in her room, in silence, even though she had a TV in there, just because she wasn’t able to turn it on herself, and no one could be bothered to go turn it on for her. In my opinion she was denied her basic rights.

Again Hilda was a very comical old lady, as many old people often are. If you actually give them the time and patience to live to them.

I’ll always remember one thing she said to me.

Hilda: Don’t worry, your Aunty Hilda still loves you, and your mum will come round.
Me: What do you mean Hilda?
Hilda: It doesn’t bother me you know.
Me: What doesn’t?
Hilda: That your one of them…
Me: …one of what?
Hilda: *Looking around and whispering* A lesbian.

I still sit and laugh about this. I think it was one of them be there things.

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