Today the other interns and I were given three tasks to complete (Kari was not there). The first was to check on the resident with down syndrome and dementia in her room and to get her weight. This one I did. The second was to gather the “Walking Program” data and the third was to help with Henry’s doctoral thesis in the record room. I also helped with the third. I was the first intern to arrive at The Center and I assumed the other interns wouldn’t be in until later. I decided to go the the resident hall and collect the “Walking Program” data as I thought it was still early enough to catch the ladies before they went to work and I figured I could kill two birds with one stone by getting their data and getting the weight of the aforementioned resident. Unfortunately, the ladies had already left by the time I got there, so I said hello to the nurses and asked Maria (one of the nurses) if the resident had made it down to get weighed. She had not. So I borrowed the key and went and knocked on her door. Of course, she was laying in bed like always. I asked if she had eaten breakfast, no response. I told her that she needed to get weighed for the day and told her I wasn’t leaving until that happened. Eventually, Maria came down the hall and tried to coax her out of bed, but that didn’t work. I told Maria that the resident seemed to be breathing heavy. So Maria went and got her blood pressure monitor, oxygen monitor, and the resident’s medication. The resident immediately propped up in bed to take her meds and to be monitored. Maria noted that her pulse was low and then discovered that her oxygen level was below 90 percent. Maria tested her several times to see if she could get a different reading, the machine either did not read or read low. Maria then went to get another nurse. I told the resident that if she went down to the end of the hallway and got weighed that I would brush her hair, but only if she walked down to the end. She could not be weighed in the room and then get her hair brushed. Both nurses then returned and together we all three coaxed the resident out of bed and down the hall way to get weighed. We discovered she had gained a pound since the previous week. Maria then measured her oxygen again and it was still reporting low. As protocol, no one can remain at the Center who’s oxygen is less than 90. Maria called the residents brother and then informed the staff down stairs. I returned with the resident to her room to wait for the ambulance. The resident sat down on the edge of her bed and did not cover back up. I talked to her for a bit before remembering that I had promised I would brush her hair. I then asked if I could brush her hair, no response. I grabbed the comb from her nightstand and she did not stop me. I then brushed her hair. I had also promised her that I would put barrettes in. I asked if she knew where they were, no response. So I searched myself but could not find them. Eventually the nurses, the EMT’s and two other staff members returned to the room. They measured the residents blood pressure and oxygen levels, everything appeared normal and at 100 percent. The brother was then called and asked if we should take her. He decided against it. The EMT’s asked the resident if she wanted to go, but she gave no response. To my surprise though, the resident willingly allowed the EMT to measure her vitals without any resistance, which goes against her typical stubborn self! One of the staff members suggested that the resident thought the EMT was cute and she began to smile. After that she returned to her normal self and became very talkative. She even had a staff member pull out a photo from her drawer so we could all look at it. It appears that the resident responds to cute males, photos/cameras, and hair brushing. All good things to know!
Although the experience was scary, I definitely learned a lot from it.
After all of that I then went downstairs to work on the thesis in the record room. We’re almost done with it now!