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Aug
28

Head, Meet Wall

Turned in my last paper for summer term on Friday! That’s the last summer semester I’ll ever have (at least for this program). The light at the end of the tunnel is a bit brighter this weekend.

I’ve been having a hard time with work lately. Because I work in aging and disability services and because our health care system is so broken, there’s often little I can do for my clients. I provide education and counseling, and hope that people with entrenched lifestyles don’t completely resent a young whipper-snapper of a nurse invading their homes and telling them what has to change to keep them from spiralling downward. And usually nothing changes. So we wait for the spiral and send them to the hospital, hopeful that this crisis is bad enough to justify the services they needed months ago.

I’ve had two 911 calls in the last two weeks. Two clients without primary care providers. Two clients who clearly had the capacity to make their own decisions and were feeling like crap, but didn’t trust the health care system to make them feel any better. I can’t say I really blame them.

And then there are the clients who are literally abused by people they trusted. They have their livelihoods stolen out from under them, or they’re neglected to the point of suffering horrific decubs, or they are beaten to a pulp by their own relatives. Who does these things? And where do we as professionals put the horror and shock that we feel about what we are seeing?

I tweeted earlier this week that I feel like most of my job involves putting out fires. Maybe it’s less putting out fires and more tampering the flames for now. Because chances are, an inferno is just around the corner.

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