P, Staff, Good Shepherd Centre

“I had no idea what the job as a residential care staff in Marymount Centre entailed when my friend first recommended me the job. Innocently, I went for the job interview. I started as a volunteer and everything went on very smoothly. Soon after I started work, I had a shock when I experienced the residents flaring up, shouting at me and even threatening me. I did not understand why they did that when I only had good intentions towards them. I cried on a few occasions and eventually tendered my resignation. The Residential Manager and Social Worker counselled me. They put me in the shoes of the residents and helped me to understand that their outbursts stem from their pent-up emotions and trauma.
So, I tried to understand them. I tell myself that they must have their difficulties. My turning point came when I saw a usually quick tempered woman voluntarily cut toe nails for another woman who was injured. I was very touched by her humility and realised that the residents, no matter they how they behave, have their gentle side. I am still wary of their emotional outbursts, but I have learnt that they are stressed and overwhelmed by their problems. So I just give them time and space to calm down. After one year, I was awarded the “Most Improved Staff” as I am more confident about my work and I have grown to understand and really love the residents for who they are.”