Suffering Observed

Working in a nursing home is certainly filled with a wide range of experiences. Sometimes, it is very deeply rewarding.

At other times, it is equally disheartening. Yesterday was certainly one of those days.

I attempted to complete an initial psychological evaluation for a female resident. She was minimally responsive. I informed the director of nursing that I will attempt to complete an evaluation next week.

I asked the floor nurse to check her pulse in level, since I thought that low oxygen levels might be a contributing factor. As it turned out, her oxygen levels were adequate.

The nurse on duty shared that this resident has been refusing to eat. Age denied having pain. Nevertheless, she is observed to repeatedly wince and grimace, as though she is experiencing discomfort.

Later that same day, I met with residents who are part of my weekly caseload. The first of these residents is suffering from a painful recurrence of shingles. Another female resident was complaining of extreme loneliness. She asked me to reread a Valentine’s Day card from one of her friends.

It’s certainly rewarding to see residents brighten in response to my attention. I observed considerable suffering in doing so this day.

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