It's been a rough day for good customer service, and since you live and work in a profession dependent upon it, I'm sharing these still raw and painful experiences because I believe they'll be relevant and instructive in your long-term care setting. Or else I just need someone to talk to.
Like any good long-term care provider, I should know that to breathe a sigh of relief after weathering a crisis is to challenge the gods. Remember Brad, the nursing home administrator who left the deposition shouting, "Hurray, the worst is over!"? Of course you don't. No skilled administrator would ever tempt fate by even thinking something so cosmically naïve.
Are you having a bad day? Maybe some nagging personnel problems? Or perhaps you're concerned about how the poor judgment of one employee could reflect negatively on the reputation of your facility in the community? If so, take a deep breath and slowly repeat to yourself, "At least the nursing home employee who posed with dead residents and then posted the pictures on Facebook doesn't work for me."
Sometimes people can love too much. For instance, when love causes an earthquake, it might be time to pull back and examine the health of the relationship.
If 2013 was anything, and I'm not convinced it was, it was the year of strong opinions — even in long-term care. The fact that they were often biased, self-serving or blissfully fact-free seemed to make no difference. From our nation's finest politicians right down to me, from my damp hole under the porch, we were willing to state our personal beliefs loudly, boldly, publicly, without question or doubt, as absolute truth. Or at least that's my opinion.
Well, alrighty then. Looks like I didn't win the lottery. So I guess I'll have to buckle down and write yet another profound but cheeky blog post for this fine long-term care news magazine. Sure, I'm surprised. I felt really good about my chances. But I grew up in a church whose pioneers believed we'd all be taken to heaven on Oct. 22, 1844, so I'm used to Great Disappointment.
Are you satisfied with your life? I'm not, and I barely know you. So in this festive Christmas/holiday month, it seems like the perfect time to figure out how to make your existence more mirth-filled and meaningful.
Some people do their best thinking during meditation or yoga. For others it's the shower, or while they're swimming from Cuba to Florida. Personally, some of my deepest, most insightful thoughts have occurred while my mouth is filled with fingers and dental tools.
Finding out therapy dogs slow down dementia symptoms is like discovering water quenches thirst, or shoes reduce firewalker foot pain. Of course they do. As my dogs like to say, "Grrrrr," followed by "Duh!"
At the end of a long day doing skillful and important things for elderly residents, do you ever pause and mutter to yourself, "He won't get any better. She won't live much longer. What an incredible waste of my very valuable time." I didn't think so. That's why I'm glad you chose a career in long-term care and Dr. Ben Carson didn't.
Things I Think is written by longtime industry columnist Gary Tetz, who resides in Walla Walla, WA. Since his debut with SNALF.com at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.