by Melissa Tew

Bing..Bing..Bing..This is the sound that consumes the majority of my day. I hear these call lights ring in my head when I sleep some nights. This is the job of a CNA, certified nursing assistant. Under appreciated nurses, without the degree to pass the meds and make the calls. This is really a job title that gets not enough gratification that it deserves. Most people don't realize the extent that this job in tells. We deal with every emotion and demand that human being can endeavor.

A normal day for me starts at 5:30 in the morning. We gather in the dining room and receive report from the last shift, choose what hallways we will work, and hit the floor running. We have 2 hours to get everyone ready, breakfast is served at 8:00. The first resident's room that I enter is a small frail old lady; looking at her I couldn't imagine her hurting a fly. I explain to her it's time to get up and I will help her get dressed. Everything was going fine until something snapped in this little women's mind. Have you ever been attacked by a ninety year old woman? Well I never have either till this day. She was started to hit me on the back with her small wrinkled fist. It took me a moment to realize that this was really happening. She completely took me off guard. As I was standing there with at dumbfounded look on my face and taking the blows like a punching bag, another one of my coworkers entered the room. The attention of the little old lady was then not on me anymore but the coworker. The crazed old lady lunged at the new woman that has entered the room, with open fists. She was yelling and cursing at us to "get out of my house! I will call the sheriff on you two!" We started inching our way to the only means of escape. Thankfully we reached the door and managed to exit the room and close the door behind us.

Dementia is a funny thing. It can turn the nicest person into the devil in seconds. Just when we think that we are safe, the little old lady is sitting in her wheelchair at her bedroom door. She has one of her wheelchair legs in her hand. If you have never held one of these things they are heavy, they also make a very dangerous weapon. She spotted is once again and started wheeling towards us. At this point we are behind the nurses' station, and watching the little ball of fury that is rolling towards us. She lifted the wheelchair leg in the air and started pounding it on the desk, "you dirty bitches! I told you to stay away from my husband!" she has really lost it now. She thinks that we are sleeping with her husband! At this point the nurse that is on duty turns the corner and tries to intervene. The old woman was reluctant to listen to the nurse but eventually she was able to get her turned around and into her room. The nurse simply gave her one little white pill (musta been a happy pill!) and her mood was completely different. She was once again the nice little old lady that would never hurt a fly.

In a situation like this the only way to get past it is to laugh about it. The little old lady was not hurt nor was any staff. Stuff like this doesn't happen every day, but on occasion we have an outburst like this. Although the job is very demanding I still enjoy the company of the elderly. I get to learn about their past and hear all their interesting stories about growing up in a less prominent time. I get to hold their hand when they are sad, and laugh with them when they are happy. I try to let them forget about the horrible place that they ended up in.

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