Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Aged Care Work

When you go to work in aged care, the first thing you have to do is to attend the handover. The handover will give you information about what happened before you came to work during the previous shift. It is normally given by a nurse or a person in charge. You will get a handover sheet from the office and make sure you have a pen with you. You will take notes while the nurse gives her handover. If you work in a hostel, you will normally be looking after 14 people. If you work in a nursing home, you will be looking after 8 people. Working in a hostel is different from working in a nursing home.
After the handover, you will go straight to the kitchen and prepare the breakfast trays for the residents in your section. Make sure you have your gloves on. Don’t touch any food with your hands. This can make other people sick. You must have gloves on while you handle food. Not all residents will have breakfast in their rooms. Some of them will go to the dining room to have it there.
When you finish preparing the breakfast trays, you will take a trolley to your section and start giving breakfast to the people there. When the people in your section have had their breakfast, it’s time for you to serve medicine. You have to check the medication charts before giving medicine to those people. Don’t touch medicine with your hands. Put the medicine in a medicine cup. Make sure the person takes all the medicine. Check if the person has extra medicine like creams or eye drops to be given. Then you must sign the medication chart. If the old person refuses to take the meds, tell the RN in charge and write a few lines in the progress notes about what happened.
After you finish serving the meds, you go from one room to another to help the old people get ready for the day. You start giving them their showers. Make sure you have clean towels before you start giving the showers. When they finish their showers, you have to help them get dressed. When they get dressed, they normally leave the room and you start making their beds. If you see soiled linen, change them. There is a roster to check. It will tell you what beds need to have new linen. Make sure when you go inside the room, you open the door slowly. If you open it quickly, this can be dangerous. You can cause an old person to fall and they can go to hospital. There is morning tea after 10 o’clock in the morning. Some people like to drink white tea. Others like to drink white coffee. You will be helping out the people in the dining room sometimes.
At 12 o’clock everyone will go to the dining room for lunch. Some people may prefer to have their meal in their rooms. Your job is to encourage them to go to the dining room. If they don’t walk enough, they will become not healthy.
Some people have meds at 12 o’clock. Your job is to check the medication chart to find which ones have them. You will also be working in the dining room serving meals out to the old people. Make sure the people who are diabetic don’t eat any food that can make them sick. Don’t give them ice cream or cakes. They have special ice cream and they are always not allowed to take sugar with their tea or coffee.
At 1 o’clock some PSAs and PCAs finish their daily work. Others stay until 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Some people work 5 hours a day. Others work longer than that. Your job is to make sure that old people are safe at all times. They are fragile. They can fall at any time and hurt themselves.
Working in aged care is normally done in pairs or small groups. Each person does something different and they help each other out.