I am a nurse, work as an LPN. I did home care for a while back in the late 1990’s. One of my first patients I had to care for was HIV/Aids positive. First thing to remember they are still people. Always wear gloves when caring for them, to protect yourself. This patient was gravely ill., he was living at home at the time with his mother. He was highly confused and could not say where he was, he also would get restless and try to get out of the hospital bed. He was on medication, for HIV and anxiety medication to calm him down. The food he ate at the time was mostly baby food, because it was easier to feed him and for him to keep it down.. He had a hospital bed, and he would try to get up out of it. I also remember him being like ‘dead weight’. He was very emancipated and color was very pale. He contacted HIV/Aids his mother told me, from a ‘partner’. His Mother would tell me things about him, so I could know the kind of person he was before he contacted the disease. This is important to know, because sometimes we do not know the person they were before hand.
One of the last times I cared for him before he died, I had to get him up early to bathe him as he had a doctor appointment. Well, after I got him washed he started throwing up and could not stop. Cleaned him up again and he threw up again. We ended up having to call the ambulance to take him to the hospital, where he died a few days later. He was nice while I took care of him, but very confused and from pictures his family showed me of him. the disease made him lose a lot of weight that he was like skin and bones. As a home care patient, there were a lot of nurses at the time afraid to go in to take care of John. At the time HIV/Aids was still new and a very scary thing to work with. As caregivers we still have to see the patient in them, not the disease. That patient made an impact on me and I will not forget him. He was my first patient with full blown Aids I took care of and I am glad I did it .I am very glad I did not turn my back and say no, I could not care for him after I found out what he had. The object is that they are still patients and just to remember to protect yourself with gloves and gowns as needed.
Even now I work in a doctors office and if we check a patient for HIV/Aids, we have papers they need to fill out and that will remain in their file along with the results. The results will come back in a manila folder and be kept like that in the patients file. It is kept like this due to the HIPPA rules. No one has a right to see the results other than the doctor taking care of them. As nurses we work with all different people, day in and day out. We serve these people with pride and look at each person as a regular human beings. We go out of our way to do the best we can for our patients . Nursing is a rewarding job and at the end of the day when we come home, it gives you a good feeling knowing you helped someone that day.