What It Was Like to Work In a Nursing Home
half letter / 44 pages
As someone who works in a health care environment very similar to those that Melissa writes about, I was initially discouraged by her attitude taken in this zine. She basically worked in nursing homes to make money. Granted, these nursing homes are in Australia, but in the United States of Amerika, no one except top administrators make a lot of money caring for the elderly. “The elderly” is a class that we will all join, if we are lucky.We should care for elders in the way that we would hope to be taken care of if and when we have serious health issues and can no longer care for ourselves.
Melissa’s zine takes the reader through the variety of places she worked as a per-diem Personal Care Attendant for a staffing agency. She talks about the drudgery of toileting, bathing, changing and feeding dementia patients and other nursing home patients. She paints a fairly realistic portrait of the sadness, depression, and sense of futility that overshadows many care facilities. She shares her insights into what qualities make for good co-workers, and what constitutes quality caregiving. At the end though, I was still disappointed and felt that something was missing from this zine. I had to remind myself – this is one person’s experience and perspective. Overall this zine is a well written but somewhat myopic introduction to what working in a nursing home is really like.