Advanced search

But can I just really hate my job right now??

(50 Posts)
StewPots Sun 01-Oct-17 21:20:51

I work as a HCP and the last few weeks have been horrendous. I was hit badly at work a few weeks ago which set off an existing condition in my shoulder (aggravated AC joint). I then had to have a few days off due to concussion.

My first shift back was today and I was spat at, hit, had a hot drink and a remote control thrown at me, threatened with stabbing and called every name under the the same person who happened to hurt me the other week.

This person has dementia and I try every technique I know (and I know a few...been doing the job a long time now and hold a Senior position) but nothing calms this person, nothing works... I just feel it must be me!! I have to say this person has been checked for a UTI etc so all clear on that score.

But I engage really well with every other person I look after to the point that the majority gave me such huge smiles this afternoon when I came back because although they don't remember me as such, they remember the happy emotions they feel when I'm around - so I don't know.

Anyway. I get paid minimum wage to be practically physically attacked and verbally abused, risk my mental and physical health and I guess my AIBU would be... would I be wrong to quit my job and change career completely but let down the great staff I work with and more importantly the other amazing people I look after??

I was shaking after work tonight because I'd basically had to give this person 1-1 care to ensure they didn't fall and hurt themselves or other people, but in doing so I was physically hurt and had to listen to the most horrendous things. I'm just fed up and my family are seriously worried.

I also worked in a hospital so have seen some really traumatic things but even that didn't make me feel like this.

Sorry I'm rambling now so I'll leave it there.

McButtonwillow Sun 01-Oct-17 21:30:12


Is there no one else that can provide the 1 to 1 care? It's really unreasonable to expect you to do it so soon after a traumatic experience.

StewPots Sun 01-Oct-17 21:34:30

McButtonWillow Unfortunately not. 3 staff on the floor, 1 of whom is me and the senior in charge so mainly down to me to stop a situation. Must say the concussion was on Tuesday and unrelated to work but the shoulder thing was 100% work.

The only way to get 1-1 care is to have it funded and we all know that there's no money in the pot for that sadly so it's just down to us.

I've just done this for years and it never changes. Only the people. And I don't think I can do it for much longer. It's too stressful for me now.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sun 01-Oct-17 21:38:53

You poor thing. I don't think you should be expected to provide 1:1 care for someone who severely assaulted you.

I work in mental health and I would support staff being moved for the duration of a patient being there if they are being personally targeted and at risk. I know it can feel like a punishment being moved, but in reality, it's much harder to move the patient these days in Most areas.

You do have my absolute sympathy. It's so horrible to be targeted and it can feel personal even though it most likely isn't. I've been kicked in the chest, kicked on the arm which was more painful than it sounds, punched multiple times, and targeted for horrific verbal abuse in the last few months. Mental health can be such a challenging area to work inthanks

I'm an RMN, I think it's much harder for HCA's as you are paid so much less!

StewPots Sun 01-Oct-17 21:39:29

I'm currently trying to do my diploma in management so I can either change industry or come away from the floor into a less physically and mentally stressful role but that's a long way off completion so I'm stuck sad

McButtonwillow Sun 01-Oct-17 21:40:35

I feel for you. I'm a HCP professional too but luckily I work in a well supported environment.

I think you've answered your own question, in that it's too stressful for you now- I can't imagine having to work in an environment where I didn't safe on top of the "normal"
pressures of the healthcare system these days.

You must have loads of transferable skills you can use in another area, you need to look after you as sadly nothing is likely to change flowers

StewPots Sun 01-Oct-17 21:42:43

DoYouThink Thing is I really try hard to look after everyone and 99% of the time I do it well, just this person is shooting my confidence to bits and I am aware that they're not as bad for other people :/ .

I just feel like I can't control the situation with them so I just have to walk away eventually and leave a HCA to deal with it because I'm not able to...

Moving is not an option unfortunately and I would be reluctant to drop from senior to HCA because I've worked so hard to get here and I'm good at it for everyone else...I'm just at a point where I'm rethinking everything.

StewPots Sun 01-Oct-17 21:48:17

McButtonWillow I'm hoping a job I could do will come up soon but it would only be part time... but then I figured I could still do a few shifts a week where I am now - at least that way I'm not abandoning the ones that I really love to look after.

And no sadly it won't change - as I say only the person will. I've also had enough of death. I've seen so much this year and had to support numerous HCAs through the process as well as other residents and family members and that takes its toll. I got told by a HCA she wishes she was so strong like me...god if only she knew how I felt behind the scenes.

McButtonwillow Sun 01-Oct-17 22:08:12

Fingers crossed for you something comes up soon stewpots Sometimes the strongest thing you can do is be honest with yourself and about what you need to stay healthy.

StewPots Sun 01-Oct-17 22:13:11

McButtonWillow thank you. The job is office based, dealing with the business and volunteers as well as customers, and I have experience in this field thanks to my hospitality and care work. It's just the office skill set I don't have yet but could pick up, hence the diploma to get things along. But I don't know if it will materialise yet as the business is changing so...fingers crossed indeed.

TroelsLovesSquinkies Sun 01-Oct-17 22:17:51

OP have you been reporting this violent behavior to the Nurse in charge/manager?
It sounds like they need to call the psychiatrist and do a meds review.
I'm also in Dementia care, when things get that bad they will do a review, make changes and try to help the patient be less afraid/violent/angry.

Beerwench Sun 01-Oct-17 22:18:29

Stewpots - you have my thanks and my admiration for the work you do, and that's not just me paying lip service to you. A few years ago I walked out of the home I worked in and never went back after just completely breaking down on shift. I'd been punched, kicked, bitten, spat at and fingernails removed from my arm when they snapped after being embedded in the flesh of my arm when I stood between 2 clients who were fighting. Still got the scars.
I had to get out, for my physical and mental health.
Let me stress here that it absolutely wasn't the clients and their illnesses, but rather the fact that many are wrongly placed, by ss, and it can take 6 months to get someone moved to a more appropriate facility. Ss are very reluctant to move someone requiring more care because of funding, home owners are reluctant to voluntarily free up a bed (and the money that brings!) So the client stays, doesn't get the care they need and other clients, visitors and staff get the fall out. And then the blame when something goes seriously wrong.
It was constantly not being able to actually care for people because of being so short staffed, it was the institutional abuse that rose because of lack of equipment, lack of staff and lack of money. It was the whole cultural shift towards care workers expecting physical and verbal abuse, low wages and the disdain of society by being told you shouldn't be in it for the money. Well even care workers have bills to pay. While most aren't in it for the money (it's crap) the owners in general are. And that's the root problem. Care is run as a business and clients and staff suffer while the owners cream the profit of the funds paid to provide a service they don't actually provide.
Good care workers (like you sound OP) ate leaving because it's too much.
Your manager should be drawing a plan on how this person can be managed better without the massive impact it's already having. No one should have to put up with being hurt repeatedly at work, it doesn't hurt any less because the perpetrator is ill, it means it's not their fault but someone, higher than you, needs to take some responsibility for this situation.

Only you can know if leaving care is the right thing to do, I went back into hotel/catering and a real plus is the communication skills I learned in care, along with more tolerance than most of my colleagues for awkward customers.
I really feel for you OP flowers

StewPots Sun 01-Oct-17 22:25:22

Troels yes plans are in place for a medication review hopefully this week...but so many parts of the MDT to go through and many are reluctant thanks to care homes in the past overly sedating people which I think is wrong and would hate to see...but it's so difficult. I must stress that the place I work in is a usually very happy place and we have nothing but praise from families, other parts of the MDT etc but this one person causes such terrible strain, and as you know it has a "domino" effect leading to others becoming distressed due to the violence and shouting from them etc.

I'm just dreading my next shift and will worry about it constantly until I get back there. Which is really shit and taking its toll on my entire life really.


StewPots Sun 01-Oct-17 22:34:00

Beerwench thank you flowersinterestingly I left hospitality because I wanted to go back to caring and take my skills to the next level. But sadly due to the things I've had to deal with in the past few years I know I won't have the patience for just regular complaints. That sounds crazy but thinking back what I used to sort out for customers on the floor...having now seen serious stuff, literally life and death situations, I would feel it was all petty which of course it isn't but it wouldn't be fair to customers to think that way about them.

I think you are right about most homes but I'm lucky in that Ido have a great and supportive boss - with the shoulder thing she made sure I documented it in the accident book as well as the usual places and has ensured behaviour charts etc are being done on this person so we can get a thorough medication review and see if things need tweaking.

We are a happy place with enthusiastic and caring staff, but it is obviously stressful especially at teatime - classic sundownings applies as we are an EMI home. But due to this one person and the domino effect it causes distress and more running about trying to calm everything and stop situations escalating or a vulnerable person being hurt. That's what scares me is that the next time this person lashes out, it may result in a vulnerable person being seriously hurt and then we all know how that will go down.

I've just had enough...I don't get paid enough to be treated like this every shift when all I do is try and care for people and keep them safe from harm...surely that's the reason I get out of bed every morning because it surely isn't due to the pay! I would earn triple in hospitality yet it wasn't emotionally rewarding so I went back to Healthcare. And now I feel broken.

Beerwench Sun 01-Oct-17 23:00:56

Stewpots - I totally understand what you mean about the shift back to hospitality from care work and the complaints etc in hospitality frustrating you now because you're dealing with so much more important issues. Strangely I found it liberating, because it wasn't life or death, I wasn't emotionally involved so although I dealt with situations in hospitality and awkward people, it just didn't affect me to the depth care used to. It still doesn't, and I enjoy my job a lot more, and have more headspace for myself and the things in my life, as well as doing a good job. I guess it just doesn't stress me out to the degree care work did. I understand why you wouldn't get the same satisfaction from hospitality than care work though.
I know what you mean by the domino effect, and it really does only take one person to disrupt everything, and the saddest part is they and others are vulnerable and supposed to be safe, but when this happens, no one is.
It sounds like you've burned out, and if you are supported well by management then can you talk to them about this? If you can have some time off, or get extra support then it could help all round. Burn out is well known among care workers, and the reason so many leave.
Ultimately though, you have to take care of yourself, this is impacting your whole life, and while you will naturally think about your work and clients away from work (it's part of being a good care professional IMO) it shouldn't be affecting you like this. I hope you manage to find a solution that works for you. Best of luck.

StewPots Sun 01-Oct-17 23:11:41

Beerwench Thank you. As I say I just hope that this job materialises in the next few weeks and then maybe I can finally get out one day. At the moment I can't quit due to the financial strain it would put us under but after having some time off because of my concussion I really just kept thinking "I can't go back". I'm scared that someone will hit me one day in the wrong place and something bad will happen to me. I shouldn't go to work everyday thinking that.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings smile

StewPots Sun 01-Oct-17 23:25:11

I just need to know what transferable skills I have that mean I can go into a less physically and mentally stressful job.

Poshjock Mon 02-Oct-17 00:43:22

Please do look after yourself OP. I, too, have been there and I stayed way longer than I should have - I was a shadow of myself before I eventually broke and left and I kinda realised too how much my confidence was shaken. I felt like I had been 'overtaken' by the job and was struggling to keep up with the stuff that I should be on top of. I'm a strong and capable person but I just stopped feeling it. I went off sick with stress and used the time to apply for another job which luckily I got. I moved from patient facing to admin and management and I am so much happier. It took 3 years to repair myself, I did a part time uni course and got my degree and I now realise (remember?) that I was bloody good at my job - I just stopped believing in myself.

My advice would be get out before you damage yourself further - it takes years to recover.

People alway ask me if I ever got assaulted because I worked in a patient facing roll. In 15 years, only ever when dealing with dementia patients and it's awful because you absolutely deserve to work unmolested but you feel heartsick for the soul who is lashing out at you because they are stuck in their own hell - Get assaulted and feel guilty for it too.

I also understand the scale of problems. I, too, find it liberating to deal with minor issues. I actually find it amusing (in private obvs) and think that some people just don''t know what real problems are. You may think it would be frustrating, but I was mostly relieved.

StewPots Mon 02-Oct-17 05:41:17

Poshjack Thank you and yes I think you're absolutely spot on there. I've just spent my working life looking after people and yes I'm really good at it, but it doesn't mean it's not soul destroying. I think I do need to get out but where to and how is a big question.

I have bad insomnia at the best of times but recently it's ramped up because of worrying about work constantly. Tonight I managed 3.5 hrs on and off as usually I at least manage 5 broken up. I even dream about work when I'm asleep then as soon as I wake up I'm anxious about it. It's ridiculous. All other aspects of my life are fine - yeah there's the odd problem but nothing major or unusual but work is impacting me massively.

I may start looking at jobs today see what I can transfer.

StewPots Mon 02-Oct-17 07:49:06

If anyone has any advice on how to transfer my skills and ongoing training into an admin role, it would be much appreciated.

I don't think I can take much more and my husband is desperate for me to leave as he can see it's making me desperately unhappy but he knows I can't do so without another job in place.

My whole working life is a total mess.

LEMtheoriginal Mon 02-Oct-17 07:55:20

Life is too short - leave flowers

StewPots Mon 02-Oct-17 08:04:42

LEM yes my job has at least taught me that, albeit in quite an extreme way.

I've been crying again this morning about the fact that I'm stuck. I'm absolutely dreading my next shift. And worrying in between, every single day off every single time.

I'm good at my job - everything gets done, the people I care for are well looked after and I don't hesitate to get them further outside help if they need it, I'm religious with the documentation and paperwork, I stay overtime unpaid when there's a crisis or end of life situation to ensure everything calms and runs smoothly... it's just all taking its toll massively.

I just don't want to do care anymore. But I feel selfish for saying it.

OhOhDearling Mon 02-Oct-17 08:05:21

In terms of transferrable skills - HCA work somewhere less challenging, say outpatient dept at local hospital? or if you want to develop admin/office skills, possibly a ward clerk?

OhOhDearling Mon 02-Oct-17 08:06:10

sorry, by somewhere less challenging I meant somewhere the OP would be dealing with less challenging behaviour than an EMI home - before I offend any outpatient staff who happen to be reading!

ElizaDontlittle Mon 02-Oct-17 08:13:31

As a senior HCA might you be able to apply for a hospital ward or even hospice position? Most trusts have positions unfilled, and most are keen to develop their staff so you may get either funding or study leave for your diploma - or even both if you choose wisely. I assume you'd be looking at band 4 positions? There are some about, and at least the patient turnover is faster.

But your admin question - I don't know. Healthcare is all I've ever known and the few times I've applied for jobs outside they've thought I'm completely mad!! (Couched as inexperienced or overqualified or an assumption I'd leave!)

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: