“You’ll do in a pinch”…filling in as a personal care aide

A few nights ago, as I was washing out ted hose for one of our residents, he made some remark like “Oh, it’s you again.”  I asked if I was doing alright or why he said that.  He went on to tell me: “I guess you’ll do in a pinch.”

When I asked where my services were lacking, I was informed that I didn’t get all the ‘toe-jam out.’  Since that time, I’ve made a special effort to thoroughly wash out the toe section of these special doctor-ordered socks.

My official title, when I started at St. Anne’s, was ‘receptionist.’  However, I end up getting involved in many other things.  Most recently, this has consisted in working as the evening personal care aide.  Ironically, both of our regular evening aides are out and not available to work presently.

One neat thing about the experience is that I’ve realized that we are never too old to learn.  When I started filling in last Friday, I had my handy ‘cheat-sheet,’ which spelled out all the details for the evening resident cares that the aide needed to do.  I have noticed, over these days, that I am relying less and less on this paper each time.

Also, there is something kind of special about caring for the people who live here at St.Anne’s.  Taking out dentures, washing ted hose, helping ladies into their pajamas, and passing out snacks to diabetics are ways in which I can serve Christ, who is present in them.

Each of them is a child of God, with great dignity.  I am privileged, filling in as a care aide, to help make their life a little better and care for God’s people.

006Hopefully, I can learn from my mistakes, like with the toe-jam incident, and get to be a little better as these days go on.  Also, hopefully, I can be more patient, too!

Sister Christina M. Neumann

One thought on ““You’ll do in a pinch”…filling in as a personal care aide

  1. So, we’re never too old to learn? Well, I learned a new word today at age 71, “Toe-Jam”. Thank Heaven I didn’t put that on my Hugo’s shopping list! Your article prompted me to google the word ‘receptionist’, as when I worked at Ford Motor Company, I was titled receptionist for a while. Here is what the job description reads:
    Welcomes visitors in person or on the telephone.
    Directs visitors.
    Maintains security and issues visitor badges.
    Maintains telecommunication system.
    Maintains safe and clean reception area.
    Maintains continuity among work teams.
    Contributes to team effort. (I assume this means the taking on of all those other activities you can credit to your work week – even taking out the toe-jam!)
    To quote Mahatma Ghandi: The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.


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