Meadow Rose are fortunate enough to be joined over the coming weeks by student-nurse, Chamaine Espinoza.
Charmaine is 21 years old, and is in her second year of studying Adult Nursing at Birmingham City University. She is working within the home as an assistant to Hayley, the Activities Co-ordinator. This placement counts towards her degree.
Charmaine kindly put aside some time to answer some questions for us about her experience of working within the home over the past few weeks.
How did you come across Meadow Rose when searching for a suitable place to complete your placement?
I had actually worked as a carer within Meadow Rose before I went into university –fortunately I live just across the road. I really enjoyed working there previously, knew that they accepted placements, and was keen to experience working in the home from a new role. The team are also very kind so I knew it was environment I would enjoy working within.
What was the reason you wanted to become a nurse?
I was attracted to this career from a young age, I think because I have always enjoyed looking after people. It’s something which comes very naturally to me.
What does your average working day at Meadow Rose look like?
I mostly spend time helping to plan activities for the residents, but also get to spend time with the residents themselves, which is nice because I enjoy getting to know all of them.
What’s your favourite Meadow Rose story from so far?
One of my favourite stories was from our resident named, Bill who told me about that back in the day, he was passionate about dancing and used to teach dance classes with his wife. It was lovely to see that he felt able to open up about this to me, and was really rewarding.
What process do you go through in order to decide which activities to organise for the home?
We spend a lot of time trying to ascertain the different factors which could limit resident participation in the activities. We want people to join in as much as possible, activities are good for everyone’s health and really improve the residents’ quality of life. It’s our job to try to make sure that we create activities which will appeal to as many people as possible. Once we’ve determined where a problem could be, we find a solution or an alternative to it. We make sure we observe the residents whilst they’re participating in the activity, and get their feedback, in order to gauge whether it’s something we should repeat.
What are the residents’ favourite activities to do?
From the two weeks that I have been with the home, I have observed that the residents really enjoy Arts & Crafts, as well as participating in exercises – which is really lovely to see.
What’s been your favourite activity to organise so far?
I have enjoyed doing Arts & Crafts with the residents, especially if we’re making something for a future event (i.e. a baby shower), as I think they take a lot from pulling together to make a project. I think that the amount of effort Meadow Rose goes to in order to cater for each resident, really makes the home stand out!
Anything you’ve found particularly challenging?
I think initially I found it difficult when occasionally activities weren’t popular amongst residents. However, my perspective after a while of working here is to see this as a challenge and to find new ways of understanding our residents more clearly.
What advice would you give anyone also wanting to work in a care home environment?
If you are interested in working at a care home environment, I would say go for it! It is hugely rewarding. I think that it is essential to have an open mind as well as patience because, as with any job, it can at times be challenging.
A big thank you to Charmaine for sharing your experience with us.
We welcome volunteers and placements from all backgrounds – if you’re interested in volunteering within one of our homes, or would like to know more information, please do not hesitate to contact homes directly through the form on the page here.