“Hire more nurses! The nurses are always saying
that they are short handed. That they’ve got too many
people to take care of and not enough of them to go
around. But, the nurses say that when the money gets
tight, the extra nurses are the first to go. Most of
the time in the evening and at night, there are only
two nurses here. I get sick of waiting for someone to
come change me. I think nurses should have a union. If
they don’t hire enough or pay them very much, they
should strike!” My friend says. But, that would mean
that until things were settled, there’d be no nurses
for you, I tell her.
“ Yes, maybe. But, at least something would
change. Right now, it’s the same old thing; “Not
enough nurses! Too short-handed! Not enough time!”
If you could run the nursing home for a week,
what would you do different? I ask her.
“I wouldn’t want to run this place. I wouldn’t
want to be president, either. Too much
responsibility. You’re never going to make everybody
happy. I know that. But, I’d have more nurses. And I
wouldn’t have grumpy ones either. Y’know, ones with
problems. That one girl that worked here, her
husband was on drugs. She was so nasty all the time.
Poor girl, I know that must’ve been terrible for
her. But still…and I’d PAY the nurses more, too.
Most of these girls said they don’t make enough to
make ends meet. Then they get mad about that. That’s
not my problem. But, when they are so gruff with
you; that’s my problem….”
Have nurses ever been gruff with you? I ask.
“Oh, you get them sometimes that are gruff. I
guess it can’t be avoided. Some people are just like
What do you do when a nurse gets gruff with you?
“What can you do? Just ignore them if you can
till they go away. I try not to ask them for help.
But, sometimes, I have nobody else to ask. I got
tired of asking for the bedpan. It would take so
long for someone to come and then when they got
tired of bringing it to me, they left it where I
could give it to myself. Then I’d spill it and
they’d have to change the bed. And they’d think I
did it on purpose. Who would do something like that
on purpose, for heaven’s sake? About the only thing
you can do is hope that those nurses don’t work with
you that day.”