Burnt out or fed up!

  1. I'm not really sure what is happening to me at work. I work in LTC, 75 bed geriatric home. I really enjoy working with the elderly and believe that they deserve the best possible care. Maybe that's where my problem starts.

    I find myself getting downright mad when I walk by a room and the res is so wet that there is a puddle under the chair. Or when someone who already has an open area hasn't been turned. I am in no way trying to slam anyone here. I have talked with the people who are not doing their jobs and have written them up. To no avail. (management is pretty much useless)

    I am just so tired of practically killing myself to make sure my job is done right while others do a half-assed job. My question is this...am I being unresonable to think that I can possibly change anything? Or should I go into another field for awhile?

    Thanks for any replies!
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   ERNurse752
    If you have exhausted all possible avenues at your workplace to try to solve the problem...can you just try a different facility in the same field?

    Maybe you should go way above their heads and report them to your accrediting agency.

    It's really frustrating when you feel like you're the only one who cares, and you see pts sufferring because of other people's indifference.
  4. by   sjoe
    ER nurse says it very clearly. You are presently fed up, but if you stay in this situation and it remains the same, you are likely to burn out--i.e. not give a darn about LTC.
  5. by   Disablednurse
    Belinda, you are fed up. This problems exists at all LTCs I guess. I had the same problem. I don't understand why administration seems to not care until state walks in the door, then they want the staff to jump thru hoops when they don't do it routinely. If they could just get everyone to do their job on a daily basis, instead of just when they expect state to visit, everyone's life would be easier. If you don't get some time away or a change of scenery, you will be burned out. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt to prove it. It is really aggravating to try to get people to do their jobs. If you tell them over and over, you are picking on them. I wish I could find the solution, then I could market it and be a millionaire.
  6. by   Teshiee
    Belinda I feel your pain. I love Geriatrics very much and was sicken of the care they were receiving. It is more than a facility problem it is a legislative problem I can't think of one nursing home other than costing a king's ransom that truly has great service to the elderly. I finally blew it when the administrator thought it was nice to leave me with no staff at night and was left with one CNA. My resignation was on his desk in 48 hours. And that was all she wrote. It is like drug dealing you can catch all the dealers but you wont get rid of the problem until you take out the head honcho who is delivering the crap. It is sad because they lose so many good nurses like that but what can you do. Your peace of mind is far more important.
  7. by   Disablednurse
    Teshiee, you are exactly right when you said "It is like drug dealing you can catch all the dealers but you wont get rid of the problem until you take out the head honcho who is delivering the crap. " The CNAs do not get paid what they should get paid, but you cannot make administration see that. They start them out at minimum wage and promise them a quarter raise in 90 days and think that they should be so excited. The LTC could not function without the CNA. They also expect the nurse to work miracles by herself because when the CNAs work short they cop an attitude (and I don't blame them) and then they don't want to do anything. Like you said the only way it will change is with legislation.
  8. by   bargainhound
    I also have tried to change the system at the nh I work at...to no avail....CNA's turnover is constant no matter what changes I implemented, basically I believe to their poor pay and short staffing by administration. No one nurse can change that and it just tears us apart in every way.
  9. by   MandyInMS
    You sound like a very caring nurse Belinda, and that's nothing to be ashamed of.We need more like YOU.I also tried working at a LTC facility but was overwhelmed by the pt. load/lack of care.I also agree the elderly deserve the best...think of them each as "what if he/she were MY grandmother/grandfather"..unfortunately it seems to be allllll about the almighty buck @ the places I've seen.All the right-ups and reporting sadly don't change that fact..I couldn't hack it...I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do (((hugzzzz))
  10. by   RN auditor
    I guess you can remember the story of the boy walking on the beach covered with thousands of starfish after a storm. He is picking them up one at a time and throwing them into the ocean. An old man walks up to him and says "what in the world are you doing? You can't save them all!" The little boy picks up another starfish, looks at it and says "But I made a difference to this one" just before throwing it back in (story is paraphrased of course). Maybe remembering this will help you in the time you are there. You may not be able to change the attitude of the entire facility but in the 8 hours a day you are there the residents are getting a caring nurse who is making a difference at that time.
  11. by   MelRN13
    Belinda, I know exactly how you feel. I worked in LTC for 5 years, and I just couldn't handle it anymore. I felt the same way that you are describing your feelings.

    It takes a special kind of person to work in LTC, and I'm sure that you're a great caring soul. A lot of people in LTC don't share the same feelings that you have.

    I wish you the best of luck. My suggestion in a nice vacation away from it, to really take the time to evaluate your feelings.

    :kiss Just remember, who else is going to care for these residents if you're not?
  12. by   ShortFuse_LPN
    Thank you all for the support!!

    I found out today that I'm the charge nurse from hell. Simply because I actually get away from the nurses station and can see what is/isn't getting done. I kinda like that....hehe.....keeps 'em on their toes. LOL

    I put in my request for my vacation today also. I'm hoping some time away will help. Sure can't hurt!!
  13. by   surgorthonurse
    Belinda,
    I too used to work in LTC. I started out as a CNA so I have been on the other end of the spectrum. I have only been out of LTC for 4 years.
    What I noticed was the new people coming into the facility had different attitudes. They saw it as a paycheck. One where all you had to do was come in put in your time and leave. It did not matter that people were involved. All they saw were dollar signs. I need all my fingers and toes plus yours to count the times my DON told me Roni cut them a little slack.. My response was "Slack".. I did not ask them to give any less than i did. My motto is " Why do anything at all if you are going to do it half-a**ed. Better not to do it"
    One of the best nurse's I was mentored by told me they will remember the nurse with the kind words, warm and giving heart, and warm smile. It is hard to believe this when you work with lazy uncaring people..
    Also remember though your residents deserve the best care so what ever it takes.. Whether it is calling your Ombudsman or the state board. We all have to live with our choices..I am not sure if I could forgive myself for not standing up for my convictions..
    What ever you choose I am sure it will be the right choice.
  14. by   VivaLasViejas
    ((((Belinda))))

    You can't change the system from the inside. I know; I tried for several years, and nearly wrecked my health working to improve conditions for my residents. Unfortunately, until the powers that be recognize the obligation of society to provide elderly people with the services they paid for all their lives, nursing homes will be understaffed and poorly managed because there isn't enough funding. The frail elderly aren't glamorous, nor do their concerns spur the kind of lively debates politicians love. It's going to take all of us who care about them to force Congress and the President to pay attention; in the meantime, please don't beat yourself up with guilt because the job is making you crazy. There are other ways to help without sacrificing your sanity!!

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