memories of my time as a psychiatric nurse

Nursing in the 1990s - Rest Homes

In the nineties, in order to suppliment my income I returned to nursing part-time. I worked in two Manawatu rest homes, one very upmarket and the other very downmarket. Working in rest homes is a very sad thing to be part of.

For a while I worked full-time night shift whilst working in our business during the day. It payed the bills (sort of) but it was a miserable existence. In the end personal circumstances forced me to quit the nightshift, but I doubt whether I could have kept it up much longer anyway.

The upmarket home was quite nice. Most of the residents were easy to interact with and the facilities were high standard. The owner could perhaps have been more adventurous with the menus but there wasn't anything serious to complain about.

After a few months I resigned to concentrate on the business. Less than a year later I got a call from my old matron, who had moved to a new home, asking if I wanted a night-shift position. Scratch had gone overseas and the business was struggling so I agreed. I was soon to discover a very different working envoronment.

This home was owned by a group of Auckland lawyers who, as far as I could tell, had never visited the place. They certainly showed no interest in any of its operations except the accounting. If my previous employment had been like a retirement paddock for old horses, this place was like a battery farm.