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When “Care Facilities” Don’t

, , , | Working | CREDIT: Anonymous by request | December 10, 2020

I work for an assisted living facility in my hometown, and facilities like these are notorious for overworking staff and lack of people.

I have been working in our memory care unit, and I finally get three days off after working twenty-eight days straight. Half of my shifts were sixteen hours long; the rest were ten to twelve hours. Mind you, I was only scheduled for eight hours a day, five days a week.

I am resting in bed at home on my second day off when I get a frantic call from my boss.

Boss: “Our entire evening shift staff just quit. All four of them. I need you to come in.”

That means it would be just me and a new trainee watching our nineteen residents.

Mind you, I would be passing medications, bathing, assisting with dinner, and training someone on their first day. So I’d practically be doing all of this on my own. With no breaks.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m really not feeling well. This is my second day off in a row after working nearly a month straight. I do not want to come in.”

She begs, and I finally acquiesce, but on the promise that she stays to work the rest of the shift, too, so I won’t be the only one doing the work of four people. She quickly agrees, and I get ready and head in. I don’t want my residents to suffer and they surely would if it was just my boss. She is insufferable and cruel.

About two hours into this shift, I overhear the new hire talking to our boss.

New Hire: “I am missing my daughter’s recital, and I’d really like to be there.

Boss: “You can go ahead and leave after [My Name] passes out dinner meds and dinner is given.”

The new hire quickly agrees.

I am pissed because we are about an hour out from dinner and none of the caregiving duties are fulfilled, as I am still working on a pass that wasn’t completed by the previous shift.

Well, time passes, and sure enough, the new hire leaves. None of the important caretaking tasks outside of medications and dinner are done. My boss is of little to no help and doesn’t have an endorsement from our nurse to pass medications.

Come 8:00 pm, I am in full swing, running between rooms to assist residents with all needs before bedtime while simultaneously giving their meds.

My boss, who has been sitting down the entire time, pipes up.

Boss: “I’m tired; am I going to be able to leave soon?”

Me: “I’d like to remind you that the only reason I came in was on the premise that I wouldn’t work alone.”

She keeps pressing me, and I finally snap at her.

Me: “I worked twenty-eight straight days, I have had one day of rest, and I have been left by myself on a shift more times than I could count on both hands. I want to go home, too. H***, I could have been home. I came in to take care of my people because nobody else will.”

But that isn’t enough.

Boss: *Quips* “I understand that, [My Name], but I’ve been here since nine this morning. That’s twelve hours.”

I am so done. I finally look at her and say:

Me: “If you can let me finish my med pass, I will let you leave.”

Boss: “How long?”

Me: “I still have six rooms to finish.”

Boss: “Okay.”

I took up the entire rest of the night before the next shift came in, going as I had been before my boss piped in. I even got my showers in.

She was sitting down still, not saying a word as I moseyed along, giving my residents their medicines, brushing their teeth, and finishing up new briefs and bedclothes. She didn’t say a word.

I texted my resignation to the head administrator and reported the facility to the authorities the next day.