The Essence of Nursing Homes

It has been over a year I have focused working in the nursing home. I admit it was not fast-paced as I actually expected it would be. Within the last several months, I have tried to ask myself what really is the essence of nursing to find a deeper meaning of my job. That itself will provide a reason to continue and have the passion to pursue a career out of it.

It was difficult to determine the core aspect of nursing homes. I felt that it was unnecessary in a society where everyone makes sure the family takes care of their older and vulnerable members. However, the change in the way families earn a living made it almost impossible to stretch one's time in taking care of family matters. This has resulted the emergence and the need for nursing homes and ever caregivers for elderly and even young children. I would understand that for some individuals with irreversible long-term diseases that creates immense workload, these institutions are necessary. On this category, patients with dementia should really be not included. However, something changed.

I saw another perspective of these patients. Gradually, I realized that these patients have special needs worthy of meeting like any individual. Normally, family members could not possibly meet these needs even they attempt to do it. There are activities that should be suited to this group of patients that ordinary individuals would try to neglect and ignore. However, these needs are not extraordinary that makes it difficult to meet. These needs rather just need people who are tasked to meet them. The focus these care workers do in relation to these needs is necessary and justifies the need of nursing homes and similar care institutions.

Moreover, it would cost-efficient for the society to meet these needs together. For example, when there is a need for a group tour as part of reminisce therapy in elderly patients. If this is done by a single family, this would require the family to utilize more resources than doing the activity with other patients in nursing homes. Though this argument should not justify the need for nursing home. Economic considerations must be secondary to patient-centered arguments. Moreover, this collaborative and cooperative approach done in nursing homes would allow patients interact with people experiencing similar situation. This will give them the impression that there not unique or considered a burden of one's family in a way. These arguments make nursing homes a better option than allowing patients to be at home with their busy relatives.

However, the question remains on what is the essence of my work in the nursing home. I guess I would restate that what I do in the nursing home is not work. Realizing that it is not work is the essentially the turning point of those "working" in nursing home. Basically, one is going to "work" because he or she is being with another person, living with them not really helping them.

By saying living with them is to treat the person like one of us. They are differences ofcourse leading to challenges in the relationship with them. However, the task is to convince and realize within ourselves "working" in nursing homes that there is someone who needs a person to understand them, and not really to attend on something for them. We are not just their helping and supporting hands, rather we are one with them. That is the essence of nursing homes.


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