Let the new­bie take care of it

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Annie Lane

I’ve been a cer­ti­fied nurse’s aide for about eight months. I’ve been work­ing at my new­est job, at a nurs­ing home, for six months.

I work with two vet­eran aides in my unit. Though I love my job and car­ing for the res­i­dents, lately I’m feel­ing like the go­pher in the unit. I am al­ways an­swer­ing the call bells, get­ting res­i­dents who need to be up for break­fast out of bed and do­ing hall trays and feed­ing the res­i­dents who can’t feed them­selves at break­fast. I end up do­ing hall pa­trol ev­ery day at break­fast, and I’m get­ting tired of it.

I’m happy to help them with tasks, but when­ever I ask for help, I get dirty looks and eye rolls.

Also, to­ward the end of the day, I’m al­ways an­swer­ing the call lights dur­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion time. The oth­ers ig­nore them.

Is it me? Am I ask­ing them at the wrong time when it comes to ask­ing for help? I don’t know how to ad­dress this with the other aides and the su­per­vi­sor. — The Go­pher

Nurse’s Aide There’s be­ing a team player, and then there’s be­ing played by the team. Maybe th­ese vet­eran nurses are pick­ing on you, the new kid on the block, be­cause they un­der­went a sim­i­lar stripes-earn­ing process. Re­gard­less, you have to stand up for your­self. Be clear about what you’re will­ing and not will­ing to do. When you re­ally need help and no one is of­fer­ing, be di­rect. It’s not as if you’re ask­ing a per­sonal fa­vor. It’s work, and you’re all try­ing to get the same job done.

So stop bur­row­ing in your hole. Even go­phers have teeth.

A per­son wrote to you about deal­ing with her chil­dren’s dis­putes among one an­other. I am one of those chil­dren. My brother and I have not spo­ken to each other for months. I strug­gle daily with try­ing to re­pair this re­la­tion­ship, but hon­estly, so much has been done and said that I see no rea­son to re­pair it — ex­cept for my par­ents’ sake, of course. I would like to hear from oth­ers on how they have dealt with sib­ling dis­putes. What is the ben­e­fit of putting your­self out there in a re­la­tion­ship that has caused such pain in the past, even if it is fam­ily?

— Es­tranged

Lov­ing your fam­ily doesn’t mean al­ways lik­ing them. In fact, some­times it means just find­ing a way not to loathe them. I urge you not to give up on your re­la­tion­ship with your brother.

First for­give him, and then ac­cept him. Part of that ac­cep­tance means know­ing where to draw bound­aries so that you don’t get hurt again and again be­cause you’re too vul­ner­a­ble. De­tach with love in what­ever ar­eas you need to.

You and your brother might never be the close, best-friend type of sib­lings, but you can still be part of each other’s life. If you’re grounded in re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions, no one can let you down.

Be clear about what you’re will­ing and not will­ing to do. When you re­ally need help and no one is of­fer­ing, be di­rect. It’s not as if you’re ask­ing a per­sonal fa­vor. It’s work, and you’re all try­ing to get the same job done. So stop bur­row­ing in your hole. Even go­phers have teeth.

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