It has been a difficult week for me as a PA, one of my clients has gone from being vulnerable to being to being mentally ill. The work that I have been able to do with the client has allowed me to chip away and find out what is really going on with them.
The client is now getting additional support but it isn’t easy seeing them in a hospital. I am so glad that the local authority has agreed to allow me to support my client, we have made a connection, one that they have not made with others before me. This was pointed out to me when I visited them today and the Doctor said “So your the PA, your client has spoken lots about you. They really like you.”
A win is different for everyone, for me making a connection with someone who needs a friend is a huge win for me.
Today has been a great day for me as a PA as I’ve seen one of my clients show amazing determination and self management. Whenever I take time off, be that over Christmas when the company has a shut down period or when I go away on a holiday I worry about my clients. So many of them rely on the routine that I provide and the stability of having someone able to prompt them to make good decisions or someone that they can bounce their ideas off of to allow them to judge what is a good decision.
I have recently come back from some time off to find one of my clients had decided to have some time off from their medication, something that lead the CPN, the doctors and myself to become worried about. There was lots of discussions about the possibility to readmit them to hospital, which would have been a blow to both them and myself as they had come so far.
However we are a humanistic company and work hard to empower and enable the client, and through some guidance and my desire to go above and beyond I was over joyed to see an increase in their medication consumption. It was, at first, a day here and a day there of morning or evening medication being taken but suddenly this became more consistent. Then they started to take both morning and evening and this week they have been able to, on their own, control their medication correctly.
This for some may seem over the top but for someone with extreme mental health this has been an amazing step back on track, something that makes me proud to be in this job.
This week I have spent my fair share of time at Turning point with several clients, to be honest it has been a while since I have been, and I was pleasantly surprised to see so much on offer. This will be something that I will be sharing with some of my clients because we often find that people just don’t go looking for it. Some of my clients would strongly benefit from some of the activities and as a personal development I will be spending more time researching what is currently on offer. This is something that we try to encourage as a company, developing ourselves, because it is the only way that we can continue to provide a service to be proud of. I can’t wait until March when our next set of training, it sounds very interesting.
New clients can be the tricky ones as we are not given a folder with all of the information that we may need and a lot is relient on our experiences and skills. Today my new client looked like they were hiding something in their cheeks like a squirrel and when asked they answered with the to expected answer “I’m fine, it will sort itself out soon”.
I have not been working with this client for long and I am aware that it has taken a LOT of effort by others to get me in the door so I had to be careful not to undo their hard work. With a few jokes and some quick thinking I was able to find out that they had no dentists, or none that they were aware of, and I was able to get them an appointment the next day. They didn’t need any teeth pulling but it could have been almost like pulling teeth for me if I hadn’t had the skills or experience to have built up a level of trust with the client. The effort that goes in to assigning PAs to clients has really paid off for me as my personality matches the clients needs and allows us both to get things out of our time together.
This week is not something new for me as a PA, many of my clients suffer from alcohol issues and it isn’t as straight forward as many people think. The mental health can often guide a person towards drink, then the drink increases the mental health issues so the person increases the drink. We work with many clients and understand that they are often treated for one of the issues but never both/all at once. This means that once one issue is sorted the other steps in and “reintroduces” the other again. If you feel that someone you care about or love is having issues then you really do need to find them help before it has an effect on other parts of their health.
Today I had a text from the mum of one of my clients that I wanted to share. We get these more than we realise and they mean a lot more than I think those who send it realise.
Just thought I’d let you know how much better my son is today. I met him for coffee before he went off to see his friends at the football club. We had a (nearly) normal conversation, so whatever you’re doing it’s working well! He’d had a shave and asked for skimmed milk ( instead of cream) in his coffee and checked his change. He recognises he’s not well enough to work and has bought a few sweets for the young boys.
All of us PAs work hard to make a difference and to many the differences seem small but if you asked the client or the family members they are bigger than they seem.
Today was a difficult one for me as a PAs. Many of us PAs become emotionally invested in the client which allows us to offer a really good person centred care. I too have become emotionally invested in one of my clients but due to issues outside of our control we had to suspend the service. However the other party were able to fix things within around a month but on visiting the client it felt like a punch to the stomach to see how quickly things had gone backwards.
I can not go in to the details of the case but unfortunately this thing seems to happen regularly and it does knock us Pas for 6 but on the other hand it enthuses us to make an impact again and to get the client to where they were before we had to step back. I suppose it is one of the many tools needed to become good at this job.
Today I headed home with a warm fuzzy feeling inside of me after a day that seemed very difficult.
I supported my client with a visit to see their family, something that has not been possible whist they have been fighting their demons. The client was extremely nervous and stressed, which was difficult for me to see as this only makes it worse for them both mentally and physically. We met with certain people before the visit, made the plans to be at the right place and the right time and then I spent almost 2 hours watching this nervous and anxious person flourish and shine. This person who has been fighting their own battles, and has plenty more of them to come, was able to use my support to get themselves to the place they wanted to be – with their family. It may only have been for 2 hours and it will be a difficult road going forward but we all know the power of being with those that you love the most.
I would not be truthful if I said that it wasn’t emotionally draining, I invest myself in to my clients, and the first 10 minutes after the visit I felt it but then I was suddenly filled with immense satisfaction that I had made an impact on that client. I had, within a small period of time, built up a trusting relationship where I was able to have been there to support them and for that I gain great satisfaction. I may not have been the reason they went or the reason it went so smoothly but I was part of the reason and for me that means a lot.
Would it be too cheesy to say that I love my job? Would it be a lie to say everyday is like this? Maybe but days like these just enthuse me and makes me love the work we do as a company.
Cleaning, cleaning and a little bit more cleaning.
In my blogs I have tried to be truthful and today the truth comes in the shape of bright yellow marigolds. On my first visit it seemed that the cleaning list was used to light the fuse of the bomb that destroyed the clients property because it was a bombsite. However with the help of the client and my side kick CillitBang (and the dirt is gone) we got on the job and actually it was a bit of a laugh. We had some music playing as we slowly started at each end of the property and worked our way towards each other and before we knew it the place looked a great deal better. The only downside being the sweaty hands from being in those marigolds for too long.
Another great day doing what may seem to be little to you and I but something that makes a big difference to my client.
I have spent the time today with my client and some of their family members walking around a garden centre, I know this seems daft or maybe even a waste of time but that is why I love working for this company. You see for my client being with their family is key to maintaining a “normal” life, raising them up when life seems to always be bringing them down. The journey there we spoke about what was on their mind, what little jobs at home needed doing and finding out what help was needed to keep the voices at bay. There was not much in their replies other than I’m good thanks but asking for help is not always easy so as a PA you have to play the long game a little.
After spending time with family members I asked the same set of questions on the way home and suddenly the answers change. Not because I am good at getting answers out of people but because they were relaxed and happy enough to give honest answers. It was almost like they remembered that they had a reason to answer honestly, a reason to keep themself well and that is what the visit was all about.
So yes my visit was a nice day wondering around a garden centre but this was merely a distraction of the issues and low feelings faced on a daily basis for my client whilst offering a reminder as to why they fight so hard to be “normal”. To make it even more productive it opened up a honest line of communication that has given me a list of things to do to make a difference in their day to day live.
The Humanistic Approach is far more productive than it looks.