Tuesday, December 9, 2014

An Appreciation of Sunrise

Barely three months removed from my abbreviated employment with Sunrise Senior Living, which I would otherwise call my sunset at Sunrise,  I discovered a few things about myself. What I loved most about the job were the interactions with the residents. I learned a lot about caregiving and will hopefully keep that knowledge for a long time and be able to apply some of the skills in the psych unit setting. The training provided by the company was invaluable, but the job itself was harder and more physical than expected. By learning about the Sunrise way of managing the care of its residents, I also learned that I wasn't very good at it. In theory perhaps, I was good since I aced most if not all of the tests I took in company's The Learning Channel (an internet based education program). Maybe if I stayed longer I may have become somewhat competent in the physical side of the job, however I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work in more familiar situations and surroundings. I sincerely appreciate what Sunrise Senior Living of Seal Beach has afforded me and I will truly miss the residents, the pets, and my co-workers who have been more than patient with me with all my fumbles while learning to do the job those few months I was there. Let me emphasize that my co-workers there were very good at what they do and I was very impressed. I feel a tinge of embarrassment for not being able to last long but I just had to jump at a different opportunity.
I tried my best to learn how to become a decent care manager, but based on my personal standards, I really sucked (for lack of a better word) at that job. Maybe that negative self assessment is due to being a perfectionist sometimes.
I also am not a natural people person but I had to transform myself, albeit even just slightly, because despite all the duties and responsibilities of being a caregiver, a huge percentage involved customer service especially if you were working the morning or evening shift. Not only did you have to be good with the residents, but their families, visitors, and potential customers touring the place as well.
I did not resign from Sunrise due to dissatisfaction with the job but rather because an opportunity came up which are few and far between nowadays.
In all the places I've worked, I've never said goodbye to the patients until this time, when I said goodbye to most of the residents assigned to me who were awake between 4 a.m and 6 a.m. (since I was on the overnight shift). I left a piece of myself in Sunrise Senior Living of Seal Beach because the residents and pets stole my heart.
If there is one thing I wasn't comfortable with in the treatment of the residents, it was rushing them through meals, although I can only say that about dinner since I never worked in the morning for the breakfast and lunch service.
My last couple of weeks at Sunrise Senior Living was full and hectic (for me anyway) - working on the PM shift on Thursday, midnight shift on Friday, high school reunion on Saturday and Sunday, hospital orientation at my new job on Monday and Tuesday, tending my one week notice of resignation on Wednesday, then working my last 3 shifts on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. I was glad to have a few days off before my return to the psych unit. No, I didn't relapse and become a patient, but rather finally found a job as a behavioral health worker after being out of that field for almost a whole year. Goodbye Sunrise. Maybe I’ll consider living  there if I can afford it in my sunset years.