"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds . . ." Wm Shakespeare

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Downside of Community Work

Working in the community is going into peoples homes to give them the care they need to stay living in their own home as long as possible. It has a lot of advantages over working in a Seniors Home and it suits me and my personality very well. However, it has it's downsides also, one of which is working on our own in a bit of isolation.

Tonight, as a PSW, I had my first taste ever of being threatened on the job. It quite shook me up.

After tending to this man's Mother, doing her care, the anger which had been building since yesterday hit boiling point. At lunchtime when I went in I could see it more clearly than first thing this morning, but tonight as soon as I went in he was derisive, confrontational and extremely passive aggressive and it was a bit scary. He is emotionally unstable, is almost 6 feet tall and weights over 250 pounds. Not someone I want tackling me, not even verbally!

It was when he asked me to wash his Mom's hair and I had to say she told me she was too tired and would rather we did it in the morning that he blew up. As I said good night to his Mom, my client, and walked to the door, he began swearing saying I had a f****n attitude and it had better be G*d D**ned gone when I got there in the morning or else, that's when I realized I needed to get out of there rather quickly.

I called in to my nursing supervisor and she will write up an abuse incident and call it in. She said they would remove all care at this point and the Access Center would look into it and deal with it.

After telling me I had handled it correctly, she encouraged me to "take a deep breath" and blow it out and go have a cup of tea. I like that kind of advise, down to earth and normal, gives one a sense of being OK.

It is sad for me to have to leave my client without care, but as my supervisor said, it's out of my hands now and is not for me to worry about, but I can pray that God will provide for her and keep her safe.

So while being a PSW is very rewarding work and a job which I love very much, this is the kind of incident we are always cautioned to watch out for but never quite believe will happen until it does. I always wondered, sort of, how would I handle such a situation. Now I know. I didn't fall apart till I got out of there, which, as I remember back, was how I handled difficult situations when my children were small. Handle things with clear thinking and good decisions, but when all were safe and looked after, completely fall apart!

Time for that much needed cup of tea and a good night sleep.

Blessings to you on your journey and hope you never have such an encounter
Girl on a Journey of Firsts 

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