Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Nurse Aide Religion

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on August 24, 2020

Some decisions in life can be extremely difficult. It is very important that such difficult decisions are carefully thought out before the ultimate decision is made. In such situations, the outcome is never going to feel good. In some of these situations, there will always be regret, but we do not want to add guilt to that. The best decision is important, because we will necessarily have to recall the decision in the future to remind us of why we made the decision when regret revisits. Good decisions that may not always feel good are an anchor for the soul. Such decisions may not bring joy, but they can bring peace.

Remembering why we chose NA as a career is a little different; remembering can bring resolve and happiness to what we do. As a nurse aide, you will need it, few jobs pose more challenges. We also want to add more reasons as time goes on. At least in long term care facilities that include skilled nursing, any normal nurse aide, from time to time, will ask herself or himself, “Why the hell would anyone do this for a living?” This post is about how we answer ourselves when that question arises.

The reasons begin with basic humanity, or at least normal basic humanity. The Bible states that all people are created in the image of God. Consequently, most people have a conscience and receive self-satisfaction from helping others. However, those basics will hardly be enough to sustain someone in a long career as a nurse aide.

Aides should start with seeing themselves as the defenders of life. We don’t pass judgment on so-called “quality of life” Why? Because that is a slippery slope. Once you go down that path, various and sundry opinions about what that is can become frightening. Also, we help people in perusing happiness—happiness is not determined by context, happiness is happiness in and of itself wherever it occurs. A thought occurred to me the other day when I observed a mentally disabled resident being happy, and I asked myself, “What’s the difference between her happiness and my happiness?” The answer follows: there is no difference. Happiness is not a right only given to those who can contribute to society in concrete ways. We defend life; we defend happiness. We aid people in doing those things to the highest level possible. People will often take their last stand on a hill with only a few things they still enjoy; we are here to help them do those things.

Nurse aides are depended on and trusted by families. A vast number of resident family members are trusting us to care for their loved ones. It is, indeed, a sacred trust. When an aide is on a hall, they are being trusted and depended on by hundreds of people. According to state and federal law, we are mandated advocates for LTC residents.

In addition, we know it is a career close to God’s heart. Doing things God likes is a good idea. Sometimes, aide work can be terrorized by the tyranny of task and sometimes LTC administrators can be unforgiving taskmasters. Therefore, unfortunately, hydration isn’t always what it should be. An aide may make sure everyone has water on their bed table, but on a lot of halls 50% of the residents will not help themselves to that water. For all practical purposes, they are dependent on others for a drink of water. And God is watching. Water is such a simple thing, but yet we read the following regarding God’s thoughts on it: “For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.” This is just one example of how being a nurse aide is a mine field for things that please God. It is difficult to even do the job without stepping on something that pleases God.

Lastly, we read, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Visiting widows in their affliction is a pretty good description of nurse aide work, and plenty of orphans still have living family.

These visits are our job, and the nurse aide religion.

Paul Dohse STNA/MA-C

2 Responses

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  1. Michael Fritsch said, on August 25, 2020 at 1:33 AM

    Amen Pilgrim!


  2. lydia00 said, on August 30, 2020 at 12:32 PM



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