‘Gopher’ nurse’s aide should stand up for self

DEAR ANNIE: I’ve been a certified nurse’s aide for about eight months. I’ve been working at my newest job, at a nursing home, for six months.

I work with two veteran aides in my unit. Though I love my job and caring for the residents, lately I’m feeling like the gopher in the unit. I am always answering the call bells, getting residents who need to be up for breakfast out of bed and doing hall trays and feeding the residents who can’t feed themselves at breakfast. I end up doing hall patrol every day at breakfast, and I’m getting tired of it.

I’m happy to help them with tasks, but whenever I ask for help, I get dirty looks and eye rolls.

Also, toward the end of the day, I’m always answering the call lights during documentation time. The others ignore them.

Is it me? Am I asking them at the wrong time when it comes to asking for help? I don’t know how to address this with the other aides and the supervisor.

— The Gopher Nurse’s Aide

DEAR GOPHER: There’s being a team player and then there’s being played by the team. Maybe these veteran nurses are picking on you, the new kid on the block, because they underwent a similar stripes-earning process. Regardless, you have to stand up for yourself. Be clear about what you’re willing and not willing to do. When you really need help and no one is offering, be direct. It’s not as if you’re asking a personal favor. It’s work, and you’re all trying to get the same job done.

So stop burrowing in your hole. Even gophers have teeth.

DEAR ANNIE: A person wrote to you about dealing with her children’s disputes among one another. I am one of those children. My brother and I have not spoken to each other for months. I struggle daily with trying to repair this relationship, but honestly, so much has been done and said that I see no reason to repair it — except for my parents’ sake, of course. I would like to hear from others on how they have dealt with sibling disputes. What is the benefit of putting yourself out there in a relationship that has caused such pain in the past, even if it is family?

— Estranged

DEAR ESTRANGED: Loving your family doesn’t mean always liking them. In fact, sometimes it means just finding a way not to loathe them. I urge you not to give up on your relationship with your brother.

First forgive him, and then accept him. Part of that acceptance means knowing where to draw boundaries so that you don’t get hurt again and again because you’re too vulnerable. Detach with love in whatever areas you need to.

You and your brother might never be the close, best-friend type of siblings, but you can still be part of each other’s life. If you’re grounded in realistic expectations, no one can let you down.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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