I got a JOB a couple weeks ago. It is a very little one but it is a real job --- they are paying for my knowledge and ability!
I am working in a personal care home as a part-time Recreation Facilitator. The job is as a replacement for a lady who is on maternity leave and is listed to continue until around August 2015, but it can end with two weeks notice if the new Mommy chooses to come back sooner.
This personal care home/ nursing home is part of a larger chain of personal care homes and assisted living facilities so when the time comes I can be applying for internally posted positions. There has been a lot of time spent in job orientation. I spent 2 days being trained at their regional orientation for all new employees and then a day getting trained at my new workplace. After that I have spent several days basically job shadowing the other recreation staff and learning how they do various activities in this facility. Now I am officially able to work independently but as part of the team. I do still need a lot of help and advice from my co-workers in order to learn the best way to do the various tasks I need to carry out.
The facility is pretty large with around 170 residents. The recreation department is organized with a department coordinator, 4 full time recreation facilitators, 2 part time facilitators and a part time spiritual care facilitator (chaplain). This group also has a couple casual staff that can be called in and they have many helpful volunteers that share their time. There is also a resident cat that lives in and around the recreation office and does his best to keep us all entertained in exchange for some petting.
I am only scheduled to work 4 days in a two week period and I think that is a great way to start. It lets me build up my stamina slowly and get to know the residents and staff gradually. I know there will be a few extra shifts that I get to pick up, for example, this Friday I get to come in and help with the big Halloween party.
There are a lot of challenges for me in this job but so far I have been up to it. I will admit I have been getting home and collapsing on the couch for the entire evening. There is a lot of time spent going up and down in an elevator and I find that triggers a fair bit of nausea but the alternative of walking up and down countless stairs makes the elevator seem worthwhile. I am having an extra hard time remembering people’s names and room location but I will just keep working on it. I am using all the memory tricks I have learned in the past 6 years and they really do help.
I ran a really good program yesterday. It was a discussion group with 6 people. I talked about pets a bit and then I read a short story from Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul. We talked about the pets we had when we were younger and about the differences between growing up with animals when you live in the country or in the city. We also talked about unusually pets people sometime have. We started off a little hesitatingly since the ladies and gentlemen really don’t know me but pretty soon we were all smiling and laughing. When I ended the group I asked if they enjoyed our chat and a couple of them wanted to know if we could do this again next Sunday.I knew then that I had done a good job.