Wednesday, May 7, 2008

trainee, trainee

This, is a testosterone model. Why is it in my blog you ask? Well, because I've decided I love it. Sounds strange? Let me explain. I worked evenings tonight, and I was the only girl on shift; there was a woman doing Main Stay, but that's in the other building so we never saw her. Six guys, and me. I thought it might be awkward, but it was wonderful! There was almost NO gossiping! Everything was so much more laid back and there was none of that catty infighting that happens on day shift.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of talk about an incident that happened last night in IPDA. When the staff was doing checks, they found a non responsive individual. They had to do CPR while waiting for the ambulance, and the man is in critical condition; it's almost for sure that he is going to die. The man is a regular, and so the staff were hit pretty hard. It's going to be hard working here I think. There seems to be a lot of these critical incidents.

Tonight was my first evening doing shelter. As usual, it's full of it's usual paper work, not as much as IPDA though, thank goodness. I have to speak to each person individually on the intercom (once I know all their names it will be easier). Then I put them in the computer to make sure they're not barred and there are no concerns. They may need searching, in which case if they're male, I have to get a male staff to do that. We're just looking for inhalants or non potable alcohol (hair spray, mouthwash etc...). Then they have to sign a form for Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) which is I guess where we get part of our funding from.

Because we're a small shelter, we almost have to encourage people not to use our services. We completely max out at 60 people, which is really not a lot of "beds" (mats) in the grand scheme of things. We look at the record of the last time a person was in our shelter and if they haven't been in a while we need to ask where they've been staying. If they have anywhere else to say we really need to encourage them to stay there. I drew the line tonight though when a man, who was intoxicated, said his girlfriend kicked him out. My trainer was encouraging him to go back there and I wouldn't agree with that. Without knowing the story, my gut instinct is to protect his girlfriend. If I had kicked my boyfriend out, I sure wouldn't want him coming back and saying "the shelter told me you had to let me in". I shared that with the testosterone team and they let him in.

I got to do first aid tonight, which for whatever reason, I love doing. The guy had this really gross elbow scrape/cut thing going on. It looked like it might be getting infected, so I covered it with polysporin and then bandaged the whole thing up. This guy must have been totally intoxicated though because while I was waiting for one of the other staff to cut some tape for me he set his arm down on top of my hand, I could feel his bone digging into my finger tips and thought for sure it must hurt. I asked him though, and he just looked a me, same with when I put the polysporin on. I got compliments on my bandaging from one of the staff, yay.

It's interesting, because another one of the staff asked me tonight if I'd ever thought about going into nursing. Interesting, because I have, a lot. But, at this point in my life, it just doesn't make sense to start school all over again. It doesn't. And if I keep doing a job like this I'll wind up doing a lot of first aid stuff anyway and hopefully that will satisfy that medical itch. We'll see. If I could do it all over again I'd go into psych nursing in a second. But, I really do like what I do, and I don't intend to quit anytime soon!

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