Working nights fits in with my family life perfectly. I start work at 7.30pm and finish at 8.00am so I’m home in time to take my five year old son, Thomas, to school.
We live very close to his school so once I’ve dropped him off, I go home and go to sleep. The house is quiet as my husband works part-time during the day. I get up in time to pick Thomas up at 3.30pm. The hours I work mean I don’t miss any part of his day and we can sit down as a family and have dinner together.
When I first arrive to start my shift, I give the residents a snack and a drink and it’s a lovely time to chat together. They decide when they are ready for bed and I help them to get into their nightclothes, clean their teeth and get settled. It’s a very calm time of the day.
Some residents will get up in the night. We have alarm mats in the rooms of people who are likely to wander so we know if they’ve left their rooms. I reassure them and encourage them back to bed. They have clocks in their rooms and I remind them what time it is and that they should be asleep.
It’s all about making them feel comfortable – physically, if they need some personal care, and emotionally, if they feel unsettled.
I’m there to help them get up in the morning and it’s lovely to help them choose their clothes and to look their best. Sometimes I blow dry their hair and it’s a really special time with them.
I’ve been at Cornerstone Healthcare for three years. I love what I do; I always think “it could be me”. These are vulnerable people and they need my care.
I work three nights one week and four nights the next, and the shifts are 12 and a half hours. Although I feel tired sometimes, I think most people do in their jobs, and I get lots of time at home with my family which is really important to me.
I get to put my son to bed every night before I leave for work and I’m there to take him to school, which is perfect.