10. Is That the New Procedure? Number 10 is a classic issue that any employee can sympathize with. In these strange times, any medical field is faced with constantly shifting policies. Such changes are important to staying safe and efficient, but it can be a lot to keep up to date with. Sometimes you just find yourself wondering whether you’re keeping up with rules or not. It's always nice when fellow employees are around to observe how they approach a situation, or to freely ask a question, but in senior care communities, it’s difficult to stay in one room together unless two people are needed for a task. Staffing issues are plaguing many businesses but having a means to communicate with your employees while in another room is almost as good as being there yourself these days! 9. I CANNOT Let This Break
How often do you get new equipment? Not very, so when you get a shiny new tool, the last thing you want is for it to break. Worse, for it to break while you’re the one using it. iPads and other tablets are fragile, even with bulky, expensive cases, so when you get the chance to handle one, it’s hard to enjoy without worrying about a $1000 drop.
Clumsiness is one thing, too, but when working with the elderly, there’s no guarantee that your visit will be calm and graceful. Sudden falls, stumbles, and misplaced aggression are just some of the reasons that carrying this delicate equipment is sometimes more stressful than it’s worth!
8. Can You Hear Me Now?
Is your cell phone signal at work really all that great? If so, you’re pretty lucky. A community with a scenic location, lots of courtyard space, or sturdy concrete buildings are a cell phone signal’s worst enemy! Usually, one could say that at work, why would you need the signal? But in senior care, staying connected to fellow staff or even keeping up to snuff on how one of your residents are doing at a particular moment is incredibly important. Let’s just hope that the community lets staff use their Wi-Fi!
Okay but wait, this isn’t over, because how many of you send in your cell phone bill for reimbursement? Nobody? Okay, just checking.
7. I’m Not Sure I Feel Safe Like This.
In senior care it’s important to facilitate a sense of safety and security among staff and residents alike. There are far too many ways for a situation to go from 0 to 100, from the residents themselves becoming confused or aggressive, to the resident’s family members channeling their uncertainty and fear into blame and aggression aimed at the very people that work to keep their loved ones comfortable. What you do is important, but no caregiver should have to worry about their safety on the job, whether the situation is escalating or has escalated already, there should be safeguards in place so that even caregivers who take on tasks alone have a way to reach out for help, and fast.
6. Did You Need My Help with Something?
No job seems to need more running back and forth like a chicken with its head cut off more than senior care. With so many residents per caretaker to curate relationships with and monitor the health of, it can be a little dizzying going from place to place and ensuring that you provide help for your fellow caretakers, as well. If your coworker needs help making sure that their large elderly charge Roger walks around safely without falling, but needs someone nearby in case of such an event, but then your girl Doris needs help getting her cane real quick… how frustrating is it when you come back and another coworker is already helping with the Roger situation? It’s a bittersweet moment: It’s great that they got help, but darn do you wish that you didn’t have to jog all the way back!
5. Big Spills and Not Enough Hands to Clean With
Senior care is messy business. Residents will do their best to minimize accidents or keep their caregivers from worrying, but shaky hands, unsteady feet, and leaky bladders make keeping things clean a real task. When accidents happen, it can be a real hassle to take care of on your own! Sure, you have the materials, and the maintenance crew can show up if you call them, but how are you supposed to call for them quick enough if poor Doris needs urgent assistance standing and getting clean?
4. I’m Not Sure Who Should Take This Call.
A ringing phone is usually a good thing in a senior care community. It could mean that there’s a potential new client, or the opportunity to have a pleasant connection with an existing resident’s family. Answering the call is a big responsibility though: you become an ambassador for your community and the conversation could go in any direction. So… what if they have a question that not only can you not answer it, but you have no idea who would know the answer? There are tons of opportunity for this disaster moment: complaints, questions about medicine, insurance, or rates…
The more complex a question is, the higher up the chain of command you can comfortably send that person, but middle of the road or difficult questions can start a chain reaction that no caller wants to take the brunt of: being sent to another person, who, oops, they don’t know the answer, but they know someone who might know. Cue the client asking the same question three or four times and being angrier by the time they get the answer… typical.
3. Umm, I Don’t Know…
Whether you’re new to the job or have been a steady workhorse for the past decade or so, it happens every so often when either a resident or their family asks a question… and the answer is on the tip of your tongue, really! In those moments it’s always nice to have a way to have a fellow staff member to turn to so that you don’t look as bad as you feel for not having that answer on quick draw. What’s a better answer do you think, “I don’t know” or “Let me ask really quick”?
If only both answers were as readily available!
2. Did They Hear That Overhead Page?
Paging on the intercom. It’s time. Gear yourself up, take a little sip and clear your throat, think over what you’re going to say again…
You sounded great, trust me. But… the clock keeps ticking, and that light on the phone is just blinking, blinking… You start to sweat. You wonder, did they hear you? How can you tell?
There’s really no great way to know. The only option after the seconds continue to tick by is to page again and hope to the heavens above that you aren’t annoying them, or everyone else who has to listen to the page, with your polite reminder.
1. They Can’t Be Everywhere at Once! The #1 gripe that senior care staff have is that they can’t be everywhere at once! Many of us can relate to this, but nothing is more true in senior care at the moment than the fact that the number of senior residents that need individual attention seem to multiply while staff number dwindle. Directors, caretakers, nurses, even maintenance find themselves in need of a clone or two in these times. Not only does each resident require precious one-on-one time with their caretakers, but there are tons of processes behind the scenes that ensure a clean, comfortable stay for each and every senior.
With Sure-Response approved two-way radios, all of these problems and more can go away, just like that! Stay connected with your staff and residents when you’re on the other side of the facility easy, with two-way radios from Sure-Response! We Know Radios.