Today was the first day of NAC Clinicals at our local nursing home. I was super nervous but I really didn’t need to be. We didn’t do anything really except talk with residents at dinner time, take a tour and go on a “scavenger hunt” searching for the different supplies will need. But it was nice to just look around and get oriented. It doesn’t help that I have no idea what to do! Oh well!
Our group got a tour of the Memory Care Unit (Alzheimer’s and Dementia unit) and as our group was filing past this one resident just snatched my hand and pulled me down to her level! I was super shocked on the inside but my professor later said I kept my cool, calm and collected manner on the outside. Anyways the reason she snatched my hand was because of my watch. Her speech was hard to follow and I could only get a few words like “your father”, “watch”, “clocks” and “tick-tock” but I just let her fiddle with my watch and I tried to talk to her the best I could. (Later, my professor said that my watch probably triggered a memory of a very long time ago so she probably didn’t even know I was there). But my professor was taking our class around a corner and I was stuck and not sure how to get my hand back from this resident. All I knew was that I couldn’t jerk my hand away; so in desperation of not knowing what to say I just blurted out, “Um, my group is leaving and I have to go with them… Can I go with them?” The resident gave me this faraway look like she forgot I was there and then just smiled and let me go. Looking at a person and watching them go from a faraway memory back to reality is both amazing and sad. The eyes truly are windows to the soul.
Unfortunately my classmates heard my “Can I go with them?” question and proceeded to tease me as we left the unit. Once we left the unit I realized that the resident had also changed the time on my watch so I had to ask my classmates for the time! The laughter made us all less nervous and I think even though the laughter was directed at me and the situation, The Lord wanted us to stop being so nervous! Because after my first encounter with a resident it wasn’t as scary as… natural… Being there, caring for someone it just felt natural and that’s why I like thinking about it.
Overall, even without doing anything except being there I am very tired! It is very draining and the atmosphere is… different. They’re nice and all but also stressful. I also am no longer afraid of just talking to the residents because even though I am shy and making conversations are hard for me, I know that usually the resident just wants to be listened to and feel better. How could I be afraid of that?
Also, a couple of us got told that if we just apply we’ll automatically get a job on the spot so I guess we have that going for us too! 🙂