Don't be like 'The Walking Dead'
Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC
Oh, I know you're thinking, “There she goes again on one of her zombie tangents.” But not this time (not totally anyway!)
But regular readers do know I am a huge AMC “The Walking Dead” (TWD) fan. Or was.
See, like other fans, I loved the show for the character development and the underlying current of humanity, compassion, moral compass and hope in the core group of survivors. The first five-and-a-half seasons kept the gore and violence to a level appropriate for TV. Then, a new director decided to take things in a new direction. He forgot what the fans liked. He forgot what the basis of the show was about. And now there are groups like “The Walking Dead Quitter Club,” calling out the show for its increased violence and forgetting why the fans have been following it these six years.
OK, I know you are asking, “What has this got to do with long-term care?" But I have a reason. Sometimes we get so bogged down in what we are doing that we forget why we were doing it in the first place. Like, there are things we have to do that we don't always enjoy (akin to the writer of TWD having to kill off two key characters at the beginning of season 7 so that the story can play out and other characters develop like in the graphic novels). But, like TWD, it could have played out in a way that didn't repulse us so much.
So where am I going with this? We have a lot of tasks to do and let's face it, some of them are not pleasant. But we can't “show” the unpleasantness. We can't forget why our residents and customers are here in OUR facility when they have other choices, and why we chose a field of service. Our fans/customers follow us (as in come into our facility) for our humanity while doing the most unpleasant of tasks. They also come for the way we allow them the dignity they deserve while we service them.
So the next time you have to go deep into those bodily fluids, remember who you are, remember the facility you represent, remember the humanity and dignity you vowed to preserve so that your residents don't flee to another facility and become like the “Walking Dead Quitters Club.”
Only you can give them that hope and compassion!
Just keeping it real,
The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.