Sunday, February 27, 2011

I feel for everyone in Christchurch

I just feel so helpless as I am sure everyone else ist feeling.

Just to think of all those who have nowhere to live now and all of those people living in Rest Homes, Continuing Care Facilities and Retirement villages who have had to leave their homes.

Residential Care people develop a very narrow spectrum on the world. It is only themself. The rest of the world, apart from their family is has little importance to them.

For those who were transported in the middle of night to another city it must have been extremely traumatic but what was the option? None really.
Being shifted to a new location is bad enough but to have to get used to new caregivers, strangers all over again must be devastating.

While I can write about the trauma for these people, I do feel so helpless. What can I do apart from send some money. It feels such a little thing but I know that in the end it will be well received.

I am also amazed at the generosity of people. On Saturday I was involved in a Rotary fund rasing event for the earthquake and our local hospice. We do this every year and usually people just give coins. This year however the generosity was incredible. $5, $10, $20 and even $50 notes were given this time.

This is what heartens my spirit. The selflessness of those who realise just how well off we actually are.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It is with a heavy heart I write

The sadness of what has happened in Christchurch is so over whelming particularly as I was in Christchurch this last weekend. While I am pleased that my friends are all okay, I, like many of you I am sure, feel so for the devastation they have suffered and the continued suffering they are going to experience.

I would like to do something but what? Sitting up here watching the whole disaster unfold on television I have found very distressing as I am helpless. Apart from giving money, there is little else anyone can do at this point.

There are so many people who are now displaced - taken away from their own homes or living spaces. Rest home residents transported out of Christchurch, mothers having babies early and having to leave their city to do so, injured people leaving their loved ones behind to be treated in other centres. All too much to bear.

But they are all alive. I guess that is some comfort.

For those who have lost loved ones, my heart goes out to you. There is little I can say apart from my prayers are with you as are the prayers of many New Zealanders and people from around the world.

I guess in the end, their is little protection for us when mother natures trackes her path.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Very Exciting Day Today

Today I have launched my new training website It is exciting because now all of New Zealand can access the same training. Consistent, applicable, accessible and affordable training is now readily available for you to access.

My goal has always been to train as many people as I can in the Art of Caregiving. People who are unable to take care of themselves through sickness, disease or fraility deserve to have the best care available and be care for people who really understand what to do.

Now you can take advantage of all my wisdom - all the knowledge and expereince I have accumulated over my 46 years of nursing - 37 of them in aged and young physically disabled care.

On top of that I am available to answer any questions you may have and help you solve problems. I hope you will take advantage of this training and join in on the ride with me.

I know there are going to be some teething problems but if we all work on this together we will iron them out quickly so please tell me how it works for you. That is

Is it easy to access?
Is it instanly applicable?
Does it meet your needs?
I definately know it is affordable. So keep me informed on how it is working for you and NOTIFY me immediately is it isn't working. I am here to serve you.

Thank you for you support. The journey now begins.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Do bully's actually know they are bullies?

Well actually no they don't. They are often shocked and horrified if you tell them they are a bully.

According to an article in Medscape written by Laura A Stokowski, the bully just sees themself as smarter, faster, or more skilled than anyone else. Unfortunatly this inflated ego is actually incorrect.

So what labels can we apply to these people to help you identify the serial bully? According to C Dellasega the author of "Girl Wars and "Mean Girls Grown Down: Adult Women Who are Still Queen Beeds, Middle Bees and Afraid-to-bees", they fall into these categories.

The super nurse - the one who does all the courses and conveys this knowledge continually so others think they are smart
The resentful nurse - the one who develops and holds grudges: pits others against others
The person who uses put downs, gossips and starts rumours - shares negativity and quick to take offense
The backstabber - cultivates friendships, then betrays them - the 2-faced person
The green with envy person - tends towards envy and bitterness
The cliquish person - the person who uses exclusion for aggression; shows favouritism and ignores others.

Do you have anyone on your staff like this? It could be you or one of your staff members or managers.

In an article I wrote for Kaitiaki some years ago, I believe the best way to manage a bully is to develop skills within yourself. If you identify them and stop playing into their hands, you will be able to manage them better.

You see the question you have to ask yourself is "why does this person affect me so" or "what do I need to do to develop the skills to stop them from making me feel powerless".

The key to managing a bully is to not let them to have power over you. However if this person is bullying residents then it does become your problem to handle.

People in care are very vulnerable. They often don't have the ability to fight back through fear of retribution and vitimisation so they don't fight back. You need to identify these people early and help them identify what they are doing.

So how will you do this? I will put this in the next blog.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What are the warning signs of a serial bully?

Reference checks are mandatory and the best way you to get warning signs. Devise yourself a checklist that will give you warning signs.

However, these people are very clever and you may not pick up from a previous employer as they will only give you people they know will give them a good reference. This of course can make reference checks difficult.

However take into account their employment record. How many jobs have the had in the last 5 years. This is some indication there is a problem.

Remember the Serial Bully is an adept liar so it may also be difficult to pick up from their body language.

They will, however tell you all the things that were wrong with their previous employer and the people there. If this occurs don't let your ego get in the way. Just listen and take notes. Do not employ on the spot.

While you have to be careful with the questions you ask if you can engage them into a conversation where they do the talking and tell you about their background, what they like doing, what are their goals you may just find little pieces of information will surface. They may even contradict themselves.

It is a tricky one with questions to ask but if they willingly chat to you just listen. You may be surprised what yo find out.

My suggestion is if you have any doubt, dont employ.

I am going to follow this topic through on the next blog and will start to unravel the personality type that fits the serial bully. I just may help you identify any people you currently employ and prevent you from employing these people in future.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Do you have a bully in your midst?

I haven't got round to writing any articles this year as I have been very busy with the on line training. However I believe this subject to be so important that I will do a series of short discussions on this blog.

Why do I believe it is important?

People in care are very vulnerable. It is up to us to protect them. To make sure that they are free from any harm.

The Serial bully is the one you need to look out for. They are so cunning and conniving and make others feel they are wrong; including managers.

I am sure that you either have or have had someone in your midst who you just don't trust. The person that has all the answers, says the right things at the right time. The one you just can't catch or couldn't catch out?

Don't despair I have been duped by these people.

Over the next while I will put up some of the signs to look for. Not too much at a time so you have time to digest and reflect. So here goes.

Do you have anyone on your staff who you know is lying to you? They are so convincing? They have all the answers and are quick to come up with them if asked? They may even get to you first? Watch this person very closely.

Is there someone who is just so charming when you speak to them? The argument is always very plausible but there is some alarms going up in your head? They are very willing and very empathetic - especially when they know you are in ear shot. In fact they are likely to go over the top if they know you are around.

Be very wary of these people. They could be a serial bully.

Remember the elderly or disabled in your care are unlikely to speak up. The mere fact they have had to give up their independence is enough to force them into submission.

Next time I will look at the signs before you employ a serial bully. There are some.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Personalities in Rest Homes

I had a conversation the other day with a person from the industry who said there was a problem with caregivers not showing empathy to residents, similar to Psychopathic Personality. Is this your experience?

I believe we do have a lot of bully's working in our industry which makes me very sad but while some of it may be calculated and intentional, I believe most of it comes back to two things.

1. They have this warped understanding of their job being one that They are in charge and Tthey are there to get the person in their care to do what They tell them. After all They have to look after them!!!! They don't understand that their job does not include taking the power away from the person in their care. Does not mean they control them.

2. They don't know what empathy is. They have no conception of what it is to connect with a person, to listen, understand and be present with another person and help them get their needs met. No one ever did this for them! They had to do the best they could to SURVIVE. That is all they know. Survival means earning as much money as they can to feed themselves, send money home, buy "toys" and certainly not get emotionally involved in their work.

Do you understand what I am saying? Are there any other people who see it like I do or are there really a lot of bully's or psychopathic personality types working in Caregiving?