The perfect storm of aged care placement

14 May 2018 8:03 AMJen Fitzgerald
The perfect storm of aged care placement

You would think a Cert 3 aged care course would thoroughly prepare students for placement. For 99% of students' it’s a big YES. They get through the first week then settle down. But for one student it was an epic fail in the first 2 days. However, there is a happy ending.

You would think a Cert 3 aged care course would thoroughly prepare students for placement. For 99% of students, it’s a big YES. They get through the first week then settle down. But for one student it was an epic fail in the first 2 days. However, there is a happy ending.

This is what the student faced:

  • Day 2 of placement
  • AM shift
  • Short staffed unit
  • High care dementia unit
  • A stressed out buddy who was time poor and was not coping with a brand new student
  • A traditional nursing home where the clock is the master and there is no room for flexibility
  • The student had zero experience with people living with dementia and was expecting to able to communicate freely and clearly with the residents

 

The student lasted 2 hours before leaving. In a debrief with his trainer, later in the week, he said he was horrified at the pace of the job and how fast showering was being done on that day. He was also not happy with his buddy’s attitude and lack of patience with him.

It is not unusual for students to struggle in the first week of placement but this story has all the wrong moves.

The issues for the student:

  • Expectations by the student that he would have loads of time to chat and cuddle
  • Not handling the pressure and getting upset
  • Expected what was taught in the classroom would be exactly the same as on the floor
  • Being left alone with dementia residents
  • Not telling the buddy that he was not comfortable with the situation

 

A change of staff, so he was swapped to another unit, would’ve solved this problem immediately.

The student was given a place in another nursing home and it is yet to be seen if he copes there. The pace will be no different, there are always going to be impatient staff, but hopefully he has learnt many lessons and will finish successfully.

© DPT 2018