I did PRN agency work to vary up my resume. Sadly, as an LPN I was never sent anywhere but LTC - type facilities. One such facility was a transitional services area for Moderate to mild developmentally delayed persons attempting to transition from state facilities to group homes.
It was very relaxed. We all wore street clothes. Med pass was actually very easy for me. I stood in one place while the residents formed a line at the window and I popped their meds into a cup. Several of them complained of chronic chest pains and blood pressure problems- attention seeking behavior. The rest were all constipated. You treated chest pains with tylenol and a good assessment of the patient's behavior during and prior to the onset. Usually there was something that would spark this behavior and as a nurse, you could pin point it. If someone claimed to be constipated there were standing orders for Milk of Mag and the rest had PRN Colace.
The daily care was performed by the health aides. They weren't CNAs, but rather people specifically trained to work with developmentally delayed and mentally retarded persons. The care was generally just ensuring these residents showered and the documentation of sleep patterns and bowel movement.
There were times when an outburst would occur and someone would try to "escape". That was actually really cool to see. It happened almost every other day I worked. Someone would run around and beat their head to the point of goose eggs on the steel wall. They'd spit and have to be physically restrained. There was a specific word for the restraint. I just can't remember and likely never will.
The paper work was completely disorganized. There was no computer system to speak of. Doctor orders were faxed back and forth all day- very tedious. Everyone wore walky-takies. Labs were drawn and spun down at the facility but then sent out for analysis. The residents were all on some form of birth control but were allowed to engage in sexual activities with eachother. At one point there was even talk of "supervising" these activities. HAHAHA!!!
It honestly reminded me very much of my past experiences working in a prison, except more disorganized and less equipment to use.
I learned while watching an NP conduct a med-eval on a pt to never tell a paranoid person that they're being paranoid. Big no-no. That set off a huge emotional cascade. It was ridiculous.
It was a meh, kind of experience. Not really for me, but it was ok.
The actual LPNs at the facility started out at $19.5 / hr. That was more than I was making as an agency nurse going there. No differentials that i was informed about.