My life as a nursing skills video

When you’re in a foreign city, and away from your own customised home, it’s almost inevitable you surrender a bit of independence. Doubly so if you need to engage an agency nurse to help out with the essentials of life.

On this trip, the hotel was superb (more on this later) so I really only needed the nurse to help with dressing and getting in and out of bed. But that’s an almost impossible ask for a nurse trained to look after sick people. No matter how I tried to explain that I could clean my teeth or squirt my shaving cream without assistance, it fell on deaf ears. She was here to help, and help she would. No matter what I wanted.

I should have guessed what was to come when, on the first night, the nurse arrived with a bag of tricks that included plastic sheets and a bed pan. Everything had a procedure – from drying between my toes with a hair dryer, to the method of putting her rubber gloves on before I was showered. My muscles, especially in the mornings, move slowly, so when I was instructed to move – ‘stand please’, ‘sit please’, roll to the left please’, ‘lean forward please’ I often didn’t react sufficiently quickly and the instruction was repeated, slightly more loudly this time. I was greeted each morning with the question ‘did you have a bowel movement yesterday?’ Each time this question was asked, I simply shook my head in wonderment, and ignored the question. This proved to be a poor choice of actions. On the last day, my nurse arrived with laxatives!

Now, I don’t mean to belittle all of her assistance – some of it was essential. And all was provided professionally and I’m sure highly skilfully. I’m just genuinely puzzled about how to get the level of assistance you need – somewhere between going it alone and feeling like you are in intensive care.  It can make the difference between a pleasant trip, and checking your dignity in at reception.

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