Pros: my supervisor was very good about helping me when i needed it, especially around the end of my time there.
Cons: hostility of residents specifically physical altercations, the short work hours.
Due to my position, the hours were at times slim due to the current economy. My job consisted of arriving at 9 o'clock AM (8:30 AM on weekends if asked by supervisor) I would make the announcements of where the activity of the morning would take place. I would assist residents to the meeting place and serve morning coffee, tea, or cocoa and proceed – more... to the scheduled activity planned by my supervisor. The same process would continue after lunch with the inclusion of "one-on-one" visits with non-ambulatory residents. For a period of time, the Activity Department would assist serving meals to residents in the main dining room and that was often a time consuming process. I would be required to leave at 4:30 on the weekends and 7:00 on Mondays because of evening activies.
The hardest aspect of working as a activity assistant was being stretched over several duties in a small period of time. Before the recession, the work day was eight hours but soon shrank to six hours making it nearly impossible at times to fulfill paper work, in room visits, and other programs like dining causing my co workers and I to clock out and finish our work.
Management could be challenging because like any job everyone had an idea of what was a priority, communication was extremely challenging and frustrating process.
I generally got along with my coworkers but because skilled nursing centers are a often stressful environments it was apparent that it took a toll. CNAS and Nurses appeared overworked and I have had concerns that it could potetntially effect quality of care; however I was consistently shocked of how well many of the Nursing staff could accomplish challenging situations.
The hardest part of the job was working with upset or angry residents. When working with individuals with altered mental states due to injury or illness and even mental stress sometimes there were hostile altercations either verbally or physically. Keeping a calm and cool attitude could be difficult when working with a resident who is having a hostile episode especially if it happened to be a stressful day already. It was also difficult at times with residents who were dying, they were often lonely and watching the rapid detioration could be stressful.
The most enjoyable aspect of the job was seeing my residents and being able to connect with them. I learned a lot about working with different kinds of people and I enjoyed making the residents laugh and hearing their stories about their life. – less