I’m sure we are all aware that human beings are, by nature and genetic make up on the whole a social species. Although there are of course some people that enjoy their own company, myself included, when you have had a few weeks of no social interaction this must put a strain on the human body, both mentally and physically.
I myself can relate to a few years ago when I was 21 weeks pregnant and broke my ankle. This wasn’t a usual break; it was a trammeller fracture which meant I had broken all three bones in my ankle and had a dislocation.
I was in hospital for around a week, pregnant and feeling very sorry for myself. I had a particularly lovely nurse that came in on my first day after my operation who clearly loved her job. I required a shower in a shower chair and this lady was so kind, talking to me probably when I think about it, just about superficial conversations, such as my family, my life in general, how I had my accident. In return I also took an interest in her nursing career and how long she had been working in the industry. I felt lovely and clean, supported and hopped back into my bed to have my breakfast. I didn’t see anyone that day, and nor did I want to. I was tired and really wanted to rest as much as possible, but it did strike me that I had been initially anxious about someone coming to assist me in the shower, something that I would never of dreampt of needing in my 30’s, and I had actually been anxious about the idea of it. I now had no concerns about going through the same process the following day.
The next day, I woke up, and a different nurse was ready to give me a shower. I was just as pleasant as the day before, and so was the nurse. The conversations were the same, very superficial but there was a marked difference in how this person made me feel. Now, I’m not saying that this person wasn’t good at her job, or that she wasn’t pleasant. The conversations was probably the same as the day before, but this person was clearly carrying out this duty because it was a job.
I think this is why when we are looking for support in our own homes, it’s not just a person that walks into your home, it has to be the person that wants to be there. Wants to get up that hour earlier in the day to help someone start their day. This sort of individual can’t be found by a CV or an application form, because it is just black and white. This is why we ensure we interview all our staff and families have the opportunity to get involved in this process as well. We carry out shadow calls so that both individuals are able to assess if they are likely to get on, because let’s face it, not everyone does…. And that is OK.