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01/26/2011 12:41 AM

Trying Day At Work Today

SepC
SepC  
Posts: 426
Member

So I've been moving along this path of my new career. I am responsible for many many things....but one part of my job is to assist those at my house who need help getting onto and off toilets.

So my first few times, I basically observed my co-workers to see how they do the lifting. Each of them had a diff. way to a degree....but it seemed common to place your leg in between the other persons legs, lean down and have the person bend towards you, get your arms under their arms, lift, pull pants/underwear down, pivot, and slowly lay back onto toilet while grasping the edge of the toilet.

As for getting back to the wheelchair...same concept. Place your leg between theirs, lean the person in, hook your arms under theirs and stand the person up, meanwhile pulling up pants and underwear, pivot, hold onto the back of the chair to lay her back into it....and when you adjust her base, she pushes herself onto the chair herself.

Finally after observing and practicing I got it down. This week I felt comfortable working with this particular person. However today, when taking this person off the toliet to her chair, I did not pivot to my left as far as I should have and failed to forget that I can move her chair closer to me if need to....so I got her into the chair but just barely, she wasn't going to be able to slide in and at this point im holding her up by her legs. I called for help, and my coworker lifted her from the top and I lifted from the bottom and we got her in. She was ok. Didnt get hurt....said it felt a bit scary, but she had this great positive attitude with me who had just made a mistake.

It shook me up. I was trying not to cry at work. I felt/and feel really bad about it. My co-worker and supervisor were very supportive and just suggested practice working on whats most comfortable and to practice moving the chair closer to me if I need to and in the meantime just have a shadow....even if i think I got it....just to be safe. I feel embarrassed and sad I made this mistake. I was shook up the rest of the day. I have been able to lift her to and back before....but I guess today was just one of those days. But either way I'm really sad about itSad

I kind of feel like I'm on of the girls whos 'just not getting it' when it comes to lifting. I hear stories from women, smaller than me...who said they jumped into it found their groove. I'm still trying to find mind. It just sucks because in some ways I feel like Im being rushed....I've been told due to staffing limitations we'd like for 1 person to have to do toiletry, not 2. But my supervisor reassured me just to make sure I have a shadow at least...and if people are rushing, it only really takes a second to watch. I just feel like based on what I'm hearing people seem to think this lifting is a piece of cake...where for me I'm still taking it slow. I'm feeling a tad inadquate even though I know I'm capable of doing it. Most of the women are smaller than me so whats my excuse. Anyways, just sad and mad at myself. Unsure

Post edited by: SepC, at: 01/26/2011 12:48 AM

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01/26/2011 02:14 AM
mem4809

I am sorry you had a rough day. It does sound like you could use a little more mentoring with the lifting--to boost your confidence.

I used to have to do that and use a lift and it was so difficult. At times I had to just laugh it off (as long as the patient didn't get hurt)--which never happened despite being close to it. i felt very self-conscious after a mistake occurred but using humour and learning from my mishaps really prevented me from beating myself up about it.

Hang in there!

Janna


01/26/2011 06:16 AM
Peace4Rach
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Posts: 9116
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Ahhh Sep C, any new job is very stressful to adjust to and find out if it's something you like. Of course I always say to give it a month or two, unless it's one of those unbarable jobs you just can't see yourself at period. It sounds like it's not an easy job to do and with employers not hiring or doing with less staff, it puts pressure on the employees already there. If you are new then it's like shock city. You are doing th best you can. Don't be too hard on yourself. Doing something you never did before will not come to you overnight. I hope it works out for you. Are you getting paid for this or is it part of internship or volunteering?

01/26/2011 01:59 PM
mitzigirl
mitzigirl  
Posts: 14126
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I'm an Advocate

SepC let me start by saying I am sorry this happened to you but hun do not feel inadequate because it does happen even to ones with experience. Dear I am one in a wheelchair that at times in the rehab and hospital has had to be lifted and pivoted. It is a hard job and I once was lost by a lady who had been doing it for like 12 yrs or so. She cried and cried over it and I was not in the least bit upset with her because I knew it was simply an accident. She did not set out to hurt me or drop me the chair slide on us I couldn't grab it and she had no help which she really needed but they were under staffed. Not her fault and I survived it fine and really liked her still do. My aide now has been with me over a yr and like to have lost me last week. Things happen and you did good keeping her up. So don't be hard on yourself you will get it in time and things sometimes are just out of our control. Many Blessings!

01/27/2011 02:41 AM
SepC
SepC  
Posts: 426
Member

Thanks for the support. I def. felt better today having slept on it. And getting right back in there and continuing to life, but being shadowed of course. My supervisors actually suggested I go to the Day Time program at the center and for an hour or two life wheelchair to toiliet transfers of all kinda of bodies. They want me to do this to increase my confidence in lifting in that I will be practicing on everyones body. They are sure I am going to be fine with it. I just am taking more time. Mitz, that's is nice you have an understanding about what happen. The woman I had the accident w/ I think she is the same way. She trusted me to lift her today so thats good. And Can.....there is a lift there, but they only use it for showers. Technically it could be used for everything, but the current stafff finds it to take longer and not work for everything. Peace, Yes, I am getting paid.

01/27/2011 04:19 AM
mem4809

I am really glad your work place is responding to your needs! We are so hard on ourselves, aren't we!

01/27/2011 11:47 AM
mitzigirl
mitzigirl  
Posts: 14126
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

That is good that your work is giving you that opportunity to help build up your confidence. Yeah I know when I was in rehab facilities they did not like them to use the lift to toilet people because it took extra time but sometimes it would of be safer. It is good the lady still trust you most of us that lives in wheelchairs and need help knows that you guys are trying your best and things just happen that's life. Glad you went back at it today. Like Janna said we all are so hard on ourselves. I know I am that way too. Many blessings.

01/27/2011 05:47 PM
Sylvia4648
Sylvia4648  
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Hi SepC, I too am glad your workplace is giving you time to learn. I don't think lifting other human beings is something we are born to know. I'm also glad the woman you dropped was ok w/ you lifting her again. She was obviously OK w/ what you did, and I'm guessing she knows you're new.

Good luck w/ the job. I'm glad that you seem to like it. It never occurred to me that you wouldn't be getting paid, but I'm sure glad I was right.

Take good care.

Fondly,

Sylvia


02/02/2011 08:55 PM
SepC
SepC  
Posts: 426
Member

Yeah, I didn't drop her...rather when I pivoted to lean her back in the chair I didn't pivot far enough...so her back was leaning on the seat....it's hard to describe. But I didn't drop her....I just didn't position her correctly and at the angle I was at I needed extra assistance.

Yeah, my supervisors have been understanding. One supervisor told me that she knows how staff can be...and that some of them are rush rush rush. But she knows everyone learns at a different pace, that that's ok, and to be safe than sorry. But I always get hard on myself when I mess up something. I think I'm not cut out for it or whaever.


02/02/2011 10:30 PM
Sylvia4648
Sylvia4648  
Posts: 5177
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SepC, I think many of us (humans, not just the depressed kind) are perfectionists who beat ourselves up when we come to realize we are not perfect. I often say I am a perfectionist tho, alas, not perfect. Try to give yourself a break. As I said last week, lifting other people is not something we are born knowing, so give yourself time to learn. I'm glad the supervisors are being so kind. Use the time they are giving you to learn how to lift or transfer the patients. I'm sure you will pick up the skills you need. Don't be so hard on yourself - or at least try? Good luck. Let us know how things are going?

Best,

Sylvia

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