At the age of nineteen I moved out of my parent’s home. I found an apartment in Oklahoma City and was accepted with my parents cosigning. I found a job in walking distance (across the street) from my apartment.
As I entered The Lakes Health Care Center a light smell of fresh cut lumber and fresh paint entered my senses. The carpets were full and plush with no visible stains or wear and tear from traffic. In the center of the lobby is a gas fireplace surrounded by brown bricks and extending to the ceiling with glass and wire doors allowing access to the fire.
My first thought about this place was, it is brand new.
Upon finding the administration office, I requested to see the Director of Nurses. I was given an application and hired on the spot as a certified nurse assistant.
Over the next few months I orientated to the halls and developed a routine. There were only two halls were opened at the time, east and west halls. I was appointed to work the east hall. The east hall was unofficially appointed the “heavy” or “tough” hall. Heavy or tough means it has an increased acuity level of residents. Patient acuity if the measurement of the intensity of the care required for a patient/resident to be accomplished by the nursing staff.
The Lakes were trying to “fill the rooms” so they were taking private pay residents that exceeded the assisted living limit for acuity. Assisted living is for residents requiring less assistance and offered more autonomy, choice and privacy. On the east hall, I was receiving full care residents and one by the name of Mr. Rodgers.
He was a very gracious resident, watched television, cheerful smile and ate all his food when offered. Mr. Rodgers was not very pleasant when it came time to change clothes and get into bed. His face would change from a charming smile to a face of rancor, while striking out with his right hand and foot. This contest would last anywhere from five to fifteen minutes every night....