In Nantes, the nursing home vocations crisis is no longer inevitable

By Béatrice Jérôme

Posted today at 09:24, updated at 19:06

” You really want to help me ? Let’s go ! One two Three ! ” : the two white coats straighten the frail figure of Madeleine D., 99 years old, in her wheelchair. By the elevator then the long corridor to the large room which overlooks the park, the trio arrive before the cupcake cart for afternoon tea. The tandem Agnès Janeau and Patricia Thibaud started their day at 7.45 am This late July, to get up, shower, help wash, dress 70 residents, they were five: four nursing assistants and Patricia Thibaud, “Flying”. “As reinforcements on all floors, constantly rushing, she said, without complaining. Ah! the stairs, that’s it! “

At 57 years old, tanned, hazel eyes, orange mask on her nose, Patricia is still a novice in the former convent of Notre-Dame-du-Chêne. In the huge 19th century buildinge century – converted into a residential establishment for dependent elderly people (Ehpad) by the VYV 3 group, the 50-year-old hired in the spring is above all an exception. She is the establishment’s only support agent. Not to be confused with healthcare workers, let alone nursing assistants.

“She accompanies us for the most difficult care”, explains Agnès Janeau, caregiver and tutor of Patricia. “It also works with the most independent residents. This leaves us time to take better care of others ”, adds Maxime (the first name has been changed), a care worker.

Patricia Thibaud, support agent, in the Notre-Dame-du-Chêne nursing home, in Nantes, July 29, 2021.

“Lack of knowledge of the profession”

After “Sixteen years in sales”, Patricia has some “Goes around”. In 2019, she resigned and then pushed the door of Pôle emploi, which, in January 2020, offered her to take training to work in nursing homes. “I would never have thought of this job, she confides, if I had not been offered this training. “ She who watches over her mother in a retirement home lets herself be tempted. After six weeks of internship, including two in immersion in the nursing home, the former saleswoman was hired in April. “I feel fulfilled in this job, happy to be at the service of the elderly for their comfort and well-being. ”

Train before recruiting: the solution seems obvious. It is almost experimental in nursing homes. With the exception of nursing assistants or nurses, all profiles learn the trade on the job, without specific qualifications. Some health care workers even end up “To function” caregiver without having the diploma. “Sometimes it hurts your heart to see inexperienced people caring for the elderly, observes Agnès Janeau. Patricia is motivated. We feel that she wants some, it makes you want to help her. ”

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