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About quilterbcathy

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  1. out in the country near Visalia, CA - our facility is in Visalia - central CA
  2. Robin, I had the same experience here. Cathy
  3. Just wondering... have you addressed this subject in any past posts? I LOVE what I do, and my administrator says i have found my nitch. I hear other AD's saying they do their newsletters at home (for lack of computer, help, time, whatever), they wear many hats in addition to that of Activity Director (I do too), and that their family life is suffering (I've heard this from several people). I'd just like to say, please be careful! For one, it's too easy for our Administrators to take advantage of us, we see it as a calling, they have no clue so often that we work as hard or harder than many others in the facility. Two, if you have a family, please find a way to nurture that part of your life, if not, take care of yourself. We are no good to our residents if we are burning the candles at every end. My residents who are happiest for the most part are those whose families are close and loving. I have two girls still at home - one is about to graduate from HS in June and the other is almost 10 - a solid pre-teen - they still need nurturing and teaching. I come home many a night tired, tempted to carry work home, and there is someone who needs to talk, picked up from a friends, playing in a school concert, needing to sit down to dinner or even just learn how to do something new, like helping to cook dinner. I often get to bed late. Several nights ago I was going strong on this schedule, got on a chair to change the battery in the smoke detector (I didn't want to wake my husband as he had had several sleepless nights not feeling well, and had just gone to sleep). The detector was beeping in my youngest daughter's room...any way, fatigue and not thinking well, I replaced the battery but found a little plug with wires, struggling with it, I saw a spark and next thing I knew I was on the floor with my knee twisted the wrong way. Fortunately it appears to be just a bad sprain. When I called in to work the tone of my otherwise wonderful administrator was along the lines of "what were you thinking to be so careless as to do something that might cause an accident... My Administrator has been sick with something ever since I started. She is THE RN, THE MDS specialist, THE payroll person, THE administrator, etc... she has no family but is still not taking care of herself. So I don't take my work home. I get done what I can, when I am on the clock I give it my all. Our residents need us, but they need us healthy and whole and so do we. Maybe the newsletter won't get done. Maybe a volunteer will do it (so what if they can't do it as well?, life goes on). I can tell you right now, my Cinco de Mayo plans at the facility are probably not happening as I'd like. The tabletop cooking probably didn't happen, as I never made it to the grocery store, and if my 21 yr old volunteer stayed on, she likely didn't worry about it. Not much I could do about it. If this is killing your family life or your marriage, if you are working your butt off and the Administrator is treating you badly... we need to talk about it. We won't last long otherwise in the business. Just some thoughts. The pain meds must be kicking in. Cathy
  4. Whoops. We are going on a walking downtown historic tour tomorrow with two high functioning, wheel chair dependent residents. It will be me (not CNA trained) and a family member of one of them. It should last about an hour and a half. No one said anything about a CNA for this. At least we are within walking distance... I wonder if this is why I am not sleeping... Cathy
  5. Hi. I don't think you are being lame at all. I am still so new at it and overwhelmed with so many responsibilities that I haven't planned anything this year. My DON isn't worried a bit about it. We just got through state and we are all exhausted. Lately I am just concentrating on meeting my residents needs as best I can and keeping everything else as simple as possible. Maybe next year it will be a cookout and shindig, like you. And someday maybe it will be an awesome theme. Cathy
  6. hi. We just had our survey here as well. We were all pretty nervous as all but one were new dept heads. I had care-planned everyone in the building, worked so hard over the last few weeks to get that done. I think they did give us some room as we were all new. In the resident council meeting a resident complained of something un-related to activities that evidently happened before I came, so I was asked for the past five months of minutes from the RC meetings. We were missing November but were not marked down for that, in fact there were no concerns brought up regarding activities. I don't know if our Eden program made a difference or not, but it seemed we were not scrutinized much in activities. That week I had scheduled some new things so it was quite a "swinging" place, but that certainly wasn't planned for state coming. Mostly just added to my being totally tired out at the end of the day and week... Our facility is small (45 beds) so I have been integrating the lower functioning right into the regular groups and calendaring them to include all (ie" Tabletop cooking/Sunshine sensory" - our people with sensory needs being included in the cooking group for touch, smell, companionship, taste, etc...it can get quite crowded!). It's the best I can do right now. My Asst is part time and disabled herself so I have to keep it simple. I almost wish state had looked a little more at us, not wishing for the scrutiny, mind you, but just because of how important we really are... I cannot imagine being so new that I had it so together that I would have escaped a more inquisitive bunch.... we came through with no deficiencies which is certainly fine with all of us! No questions about burn out, no checking my daily attendance. Maintenance was given a small ding for having a rubber foot missing from a small stool that was in a storage area... quite an odd ding to get... PS Haven't written much lately, just had my nose to the grindstone trying to take it one day at a time. Finally settling in, things are going well. Though since survey last week I am not sleeping well. Like now. Alot going on, good, just alot. Cathy
  7. Hi! Like the Pat on the Back, we did a Garland of Gratitude, making a Garland of seasonal items with messages of gratitude to various employees and everyone in general. Then we posted it up for all to see. Now I am trying to throw in a monthly "Fun-Raiser" party involving staff and families as well as residents. Last month it was St. Pat's day with a cake walk, everyone was invited to bring a cake to donate. One residents family brought 4 cakes! I played my sax while everyone walked around. Playing "California Here I Come" had everyone singing! If a resident won a cake it was cut and shared with all. This month we are having our 2nd Fun-raiser - celebrating National Humor Month - we are having a Humor Party with "guess how many candies in a jar", jokes, more music, and the residents are making "Pigs in a Blanket" (I'll get those mini hotdogs in bulk if I can find them) in their Tabletop Cooking prior to the party for all to enjoy. My budget is really small for the month ($150 for 44 bed facility) so I am learning to squeeze every penny I can to make the best... Hope this helps. Cathy
  8. Hi Bonnie, I am new too, and somedays are better than others. The last couple of days have been a bit of a reprieve. I do have a helper, only part time (2 mornings paid), and she herself needs supervision. The only time I leave her alone is when I must attend Care Plan mtgs or Medicare mtgs. Then at those times a simple exercise program is scheduled, one day of which a volunteer runs it. My facility is about 44 beds, so we are similar in that. On Monday, Weds and Friday afternoons a bingo is scheduled, which lasts about an hour. For now I am keeping it that simple. Monday & Weds I end it at 3 and spend the rest of the afternoon catching up on paperwork and room visits. At 3 I will sometimes put a classic movie on in the dining room. If they have popcorn I bring my charting in to work on. Fri. afternoon's I have an ice cream social after bingo, and serve Ice Cream until about 3:30. I work each day until 4:30 so try to use those afternoons to the fullest. I try and spread out room rounds in the mornings in between activities and meetings. I am fortunate in that staff is good about helping (I think that being on the Eden alternative has made a difference, they seem to have done a pretty good job of embracing that), so we have sometimes 20-25 residents out to exercise and even more out to music events. During those I try and make time for the lower functioning people who are attending to get them as actively involved as possible. I hope that helps make it count as an activity for lower functioning residents as well, because I really put forth a specific effort and try to chart it and am trying to figure out a catchy phrase to calendar it to show that. We are having a therapy dog coming to live with us and he will be a regular in my room rounds. All that said, the last two days were better but somedays I have felt totally overwhelmed. I need to really get into the charts and make sure I am doing them right, and I need to read the Policy and Procedures manual, again. I wasn't taking volunteers through any kind of applications or policy and procedures, so now is one more thing... I hope my calendar is up to snuff, and hope my charting is too. I was at a 135 bed facility so this seems serene in comparison. It sure is a learning process. I'm glad this forum is here to to help us hang in together and offer ideas and support. Good luck to you. Cathy
  9. Julie, Where are you at in CA? I am in the Central Valley... Cathy
  10. Hi, thanks for the information. What scares me is just all of this. I am not yet certified and haven't started school and my administrator says he is waiting for state to finish with survey (they are due any time) to get me started. I thought I read we'd get a deficiency if I wasn't at least enrolled. He probably will "enroll" me just to get by... So I don't have any comfort level with completing the care plans and all else, worried about getting not only everything calendared correctly but carrying out everything (such as activities for the low functioning group). Without really any help...no real training...my administrator when he does approach me wants to know how often I brush the teeth of the therapy dog! That's about it with him! Now he wants me to take two afternoons each week to train with this dog... so something else will have to slip - I think I will put it back to him and in writing - what must I give up in order to spend time with this dog! It is my only planning time. Honestly I think (I know!) they are totally missing the point of AD - I really really believe they see me as the babysitter and are blowing off state... I know better than they but don't have the skills yet as I have said above... I had wonderful training as an Assistant at another facility, I know mostly what I need to do, but to make it all happen with only a 21 yr old immature mostly volunteer (paid for 8 hours/wk but volunteers 2 PM's and one AM so guess what, they don't see the need to pay someone) who doesn't show up half the time and behaves totally inappropriately with residents when she is here...I care darn it! But the state isn't going to see that. I am beginning to wonder if they only have me because of licensing and then will let me go. And I am GOOD at what I do. I was a great assistant and want to do well at this! My DON brushed me off stating that "State won't be looking that hard at Activities charting..." I am documenting these comments, I just have too much pride in what I do to want to be caught in the middle of this! So I guess what I am saying is no matter how much I care and how good I know I can make this, without time and training it won't matter to state and I don't want to get the blame for the program not being on target. Do you see what I mean? I tell them this but they keep blowing it off, except one person, Tuesday I will ask her for a good talk session so hopefully she can help. She stated that I am an integral part of the interdisciplinary team and yes, State will look at me, then mentioned quickly three main things (low functioning...and what else? That's why I need help!) and I told her she is the ONLY one who has told me this and it took her a month to get to me. So much to learn yet with the pressure of state coming! I don't know all my residents like I'd like, just barely having learned names now a month into my job...hardly any time for assessments, learning MDS's but just enough to know what I am doing wrong, don't know HOW to do care plans... HELP! I am drowning! I have to do an outing this week and have no idea what I will need, who is coming on it... it is a SNF so they need LOT'S of help... Sorry to vent but I am really overwhelmed. I am going to tell this person on Tuesday. I want to stay, I love the work, I do it for the residents... but I don't know anymore. I woke at 3 Am this morning and wrote 4 long pages of my worries. Detailed every minute of my day and asked how I can do it all and what else do I need to do to do it right. Cathy
  11. Suzie, I am being told the exact same thing. I'm learning my job out here in California, so things must not be any different anywhere...other than that, I don't know what to tell you, as it is all so new yet to me. There is so much to know... but my DON is being very patient and teaching me... in fact, almost all our dept. heads are new so her hands are FULL with all of us, plus we are in the window for survey now, so we are all pretty nervous about getting our end of the MDS right. She said that MDS' are so complicated that it can take two years to learn all about them. Makes me glad Activities Section N is pretty straightforward and simple, but I've already goofed up a couple of times. So am a little paranoid every time I do my section. One would think it is so simple but it matters when you sign off and date it and what triggers a rap. Yee gads. Last week I didn't even know what a RAP meant. Do you do your MDS's on a computer program? Cathy
  12. We enjoyed hangman on a large dry erase board. The residents had a good time each week letting me know that I would never ever hang them! Cathy
  13. Thank you! I'll try and work with her a little better. She's a sweet kid. I did write a note to my boss asking for more help, I think he's pretty much blowing it off. Wouldn't surprise me now after reading what you've all written. I sort of spelled out my concerns and offered some ideas. Oh well, I took a risk writing it, I guess! Just call me "brave chicken scaredy pants". Ha! If he's mad he's mad. If he ignores it so be it. I am called the radical in the family because now and then I take a stand, for better or for worse (we are all pretty easy going really).Today was better. If he doesn't fire me (I doubt it), I will sure be glad to get past these first few months! Cathy
  14. Thanks. I'm still struggling today, but tonight am going to try to write down my concerns in a way that I can present it to my boss. Will try to put it in a way that shows what really needs to happen to make this place what it should be for the residents and to pass state survey, point by point. I've got some documentation to back me up. My old boss, God bless her, just sailed sweetly through survey and is willing to help me out when they are dragging their feet. And she is now officially the competition but is willing anyway. Other than that... we'll see. Thanks so much for understanding. I cancelled an outing for Friday because I am just too overwhelmed to take it on yet (boss doesn't know that yet but two highers up are ok with it). Just too complicated logistically with everything else I'm learning. Today I began with a stack of assessments and quarterly's that needed to be caught up on. I barely know the residents yet, but try I will to make it right. Cathy
  15. Thanks Lo, I already feel better. Sometimes I just really miss the old place. Cathy
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