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Caregiver Interview & Personal Connections

Autor:   •  December 17, 2017  •  2,813 Words (12 Pages)  •  377 Views

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Challenges and Rewards

Nursing in it of itself, is an extremely challenging vocation. With the constant movement of patients, illnesses, and death, nursing is extremely taxing on both the mental and physical levels; however, that is not without its rewards. The biggest challenge Brecken faced in her career was the patients that had refused any treatment. She struggled emotionally with many of these circumstances, as a healthy portion of these cases were treatable. She recalled one woman who was in her early 80’s back in 1998, who had a bacterial infection (also known as gout) in her large toe. Now gout will typically resolve itself with our own immune system leading the charge; however in this patient’s case, she had just finished her last round of chemotherapy and her immune system was less than adequately functioning. Unfortunately, the chemo was doing little to fight the growing cancer, and after prolong refusal to go to the hospital for her gout, this bacterial infection turned into a blood infection. Yet, there was still hope, she could have still received treatment and as Brecken stated it would have worked, but the patient had given up. Instead, Brecken was forced to watch her patient slowly and painfully slip into a coma to never wake again. With the immense sadness of dealing with circumstances like these, it was and is the rewards she lives for. Brecken finds the rewards in the smaller achievements such as patient smiling for the first time after going through a painstaking treatment, or when the right amount of meds are being used to effectively combat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and the patients can recognize her for the first time. Through all the struggles, she has said there are only a few days throughout her career where she did not know if she could go on; but alas, she pulled through those rough patches and now she looks back and smiles at the differences she made.

Professional and Personal Insights

Brecken was a candid woman; her interview was anything but sugar coated. Her direct, almost intimidating eye contact was rough to get used to, but I appreciated her harsh edges on the reality that is elderly care. Brecken gave some advice as I go into the field of healthcare, she said to wake up every day with a goal, just one goal, and never go to sleep until it is done. Brecken is under the assumption that her determined outlook on making her career everything she wanted it to be was highly dependent on what plan she had set forth for herself. She claims any young professional needs to be aware of what they are getting into, and fully immerse yourself in every opportunity that is within reach, because the moment you stop reaching is the moment you have lost your way in society. Be brave, toughen up, and be prepared for things to not always go your way; that is the purpose of life; to live it.

Reflection

Working with elderly patients has never been a possibility I have wanted to entertain, I found it quite refreshing to hear about her life, where she grew up and how she got to where she was in the end. I feel her insight into elderly care is equitable to just about any profession, albeit health related or not. The aspect of knowing what you want, and setting your mind to completing the goal is an inspiring, yet simple way to go about life. Within the career of mental health, these antidotes of daily mantras and goal setting is an important topic to get into the habit of achieving. She experience and drive, even now, is an inspiration to anyone who is looking to get ahead in his or her vocational field, and I know I will look back on this interview for many years to come.

Part Two: Connection to Personal Experiences

Family Views

Every family has their own process of dealing with their respective elders; my family members have, since the time I can remember, always dealt with the elders through a prism of independence (except for my grandmother on my mother’s side). My father’s parents raised all of their eight children to be completely autonomous in their life after they graduated high school. When they passed they had a significant amount of money, their children received close to nothing because, as my grandfather use to say, it was his money, and they have to earn their own. He was born and raised in Chicago in the early 1900’s and grew up in a time were money was something sought and never obtained. Fortunately for him, he was a brilliant inventor and investment banker, and placed all his money and property on a reverse mortgage so my grandmother can maintain the ‘high maintenance’ lifestyle she had grown accustomed. So when their time to meet their proverbial maker happened, their children were sad, but were raised to not to make this a devastating point and to move on (everyone knew grandpa would be furious if anyone was blubbering at his funeral). Through my mother side, I was raised to understand they are all insane (which is absolutely true) and therefore, have only had little contact with most of them as I grew up and developed my own perceptions on elderly care and death. In essence, elderly care is not something my family has bestowed on their other members, but consider it a duty of the individual to ensure they are cared for in the later years.

The mourning period within my family is brief and not extremely emotional. Thus far, I have had two grandfathers pass and one grandmother, and one of those grandfathers I did not attend the funeral. I was born and raised without significant influence of my grandparents, or even aunts and uncles, and thus my extended family does not conjure much feelings in that way. My mother has that ingrained sense of duty to her mother, as I already mentioned, this relative is utterly irrational and is unable to most anything in her life, as attention from others is a more desirable aspect than independence. However, due to the closeness I have with my own parents, we are all very open with what we want to see happen when the minds start to falter and additional care is needed and not practical with their own spouses. My dad, so eloquent with words, has said, “put a collar on my neck and tie me to a tree so I don’t get lost. Just make sure I have water”; yep, that’s my dad, but in actuality he, like his father, refuses to be a burden to any member of their family so he has taken the necessary steps to ensure he is cared for appropriately (and yes, he has even planned out his funeral). My mother is a bit classier in her desires, but not nearly as entertaining to talk about. Realistically, both of my parents have already stated what and how they would like their funeral to go, and

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