Okay, have a bit of time to blog. About this, anyway. I’ve been given permission to blog anonymously about this situation.
I know someone who works in a nursing home. She hit a resident the other day. She knows this was wrong. She knows there was no excuse. She reported this to her boss. She was thinking of quitting her job.
You would think she would get at least one of the following…
- Written up.
- Given counseling.
- Given training on how to avoid things like this.
- Kept on some kind of probation.
- Reported to some sort of authorities.
…after all, this is not even like most abuse situations in institutions. Normally, I don’t care if it’s a nursing home, group home, whatever, it’s either the resident or the family reporting the abuse, and the staff denying it. Here we’ve got a staff person who knows what she did was wrong, feels horrible about it, was considering quitting her job, is very honest, and wanted to stop doing this. She reported it to her boss. Expecting whatever consequences she might get. Knowing that she’d misjudged a power situation big time.
And they told her they are doing nothing about this at all, that it’s not even a problem, essentially.
After hearing that, is it any surprise abuse goes on in these places? I mean there’s not even an attempt being made here to stop her or change things or report her. This is someone who willingly asked them to do whatever they needed to do, who came to them and admitted what she’d done, and they’re going to ignore even this? I think this has stunned her, as well.
My mother has worked in nursing homes, and I’ve volunteered in them. I’ve been in other sorts of institutions (psych and residential treatment), and schools where I’ve seen abuse or experienced it. I have lots of friends whose experiences run the gamut of varieties of institutions, different lengths of stay, whatever. I know there’s abuse all the time that goes unreported. Heck, I saw unreported abuse when I spent twelve hours in a psych ward once. It goes on all the time, both in overt and covert manners. I know that even when you report it, you’re unlikely to be believed. But what has managed to shock me here is that a person who willingly and thoroughly reports abuse she herself has committed is being told essentially that it’s no big deal, nothing will happen to her. Something really twisted is going on here, and it’s earning one big WTF?