Just curious what's so bad about working LTC?

  1. I hear many bad things about working at a nursing home. What are the bad things anyone care to explain?
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    First, the bad:

    1) Understaffing
    2) Too much paperwork
    3) For-profit facilities
    4) Understaffing
    5) Poor organization
    6) Supplies often not available or hard to find
    7) Understaffing
    8) Too little support from management
    9) Heavy lifting
    10) Yep, you guessed it.........understaffing

    Now, for the GOOD:

    1) The residents!
    2) The chance to really make a difference in someone's life
    3) Getting to know people on almost a 'family' basis
    4) Being there for people at the end of life
    5) Having a building full of parents and grandparents
    6) Listening to great stories from the "good old days"
    7) Knowing these people love and depend on you
    9) An almost endless supply of hugs and kisses!
  4. by   leslie :-D
    i'd like to add another perspective, on top of marla's post.

    i've always felt our elderly are a devalued segment in the u.s. population.
    there is nothing attractive about getting old, losing physical/cognitive function, no longer 'contributing' anything worthy to society.
    especially living in a society that puts such tremendous value on one's physical beauty and subsequent youth, associated w/being beautiful.
    most important, old=death, another event we don't like to talk about or think about.

    and so, working in ltc is downright depressing to many.
    for those who appreciate our elderly, it can be deeply rewarding.
    many in the nsg profession look at ltc as the job you get, when you can't get any other.

    if you want to have meaningful relationships w/your pts, this is one area to do so.
    but do your research as to what type of facility it is.
    many are poorly-managed.

    best of everything.

    leslie
  5. by   NurseKristi
    I personally have worked in LTC for 6 years and I LOVE IT! Although my facility dows not fall under any of the things previously listed either
  6. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from NurseKristi
    I personally have worked in LTC for 6 years and I LOVE IT! Although my facility dows not fall under any of the things previously listed either
    that's wonderful to hear, kristi.
    i personally, would love to hear about more positive experiences in ltc.
    thank you!

    leslie
  7. by   Bala Shark
    As the above poster said, the understaffing..I worked the AM shifts where it was the most medications and treatments to do..I got blasted by managment for not finishing on time..I never took a lunch in the AM shift because it was too much to do...But the good news is that if you are scheduled in the PM or NOC shift, the pace is a lot slower..
  8. by   kstec
    The bad things are working short staffed and the whole thing about making money. I adored my residents when I worked LTC. But I had to quit because the facility I worked at went to he!!, they went through 3 Administrators in 1 year, and 5 DON's in 2 years. The politics were ridiculous. My residents were precious in their own unique ways. If I can find another facility that has good resident/nurse ratios and the Administration is stable then I might consider going back but unfortunately you have to interview the facility even more than they interview you, to avoid getting into something that you'll regret or get into a situation that may jeopordize (sp) your license or the lives of your residents. I truly do miss my residents at the facility I just left, I can remember each one of their special personality quirks and I just wish them the best with all the BS that is going on. I alone could not make a difference, it was just to much. If you can find a good facility, you'll actually love LTC.
  9. by   RNperdiem
    Lack of status. This might sound trivial, but tell people you are a nurse. They will ask what kind of nursing. Tell them ER, ICU or L&D and you will get a different response than if you said nursing home or prison.
  10. by   mianders
    It all depends what you want to do with your nursing career. If you stay at a LTC you will not develop a lot of the skills you would in an acute care facility. If you plan on spending your whole career there then more power to you.
  11. by   Jo Dirt
    You may hear or have heard someone say I'll never go to a nursing home.

    Why could this be?

    There is a stigma attached to the nursing home. Nursing homes are viewed by many as dumping grounds for old, unwanted people. No one wants the indignity of becoming needy and dependent on others to take care of them.
    Even old people are disgusted about being old. When nursing home is mentioned it most often beings forth images of decaying, disease-ridden, incontinent miserable people.
    And there is something final in the nursing home. Young people have a future with possibilities. When you get old you have no future and the nursing home is just another reminder that this is the last address.

    Who would want that? I wouldn't.
  12. by   Pepper The Cat
    I think another problem is that LTC nurses get a bad rap from other nurses. For whatever reason, the medical profession seems to think that only ER and ICU nurses really matter. They seem to think that only "poor" nurses (and I mean skill wise) work in LTC. Frankly, I think it takes just as much skill to work LTC as anywhere else.
    But until we can change our own attitudes towards LTC and the elderly, we will not get better staffing, supplies, support etc.
    Just my opinion of course!
  13. by   Pepper The Cat
    Quote from mianders
    It all depends what you want to do with your nursing career. If you stay at a LTC you will not develop a lot of the skills you would in an acute care facility. If you plan on spending your whole career there then more power to you.
    I disagree. You required just as many skills working LTC. Assessing elderly pts with dementia requires more skills because they cannot always articulate where their pain is. Ulcer care, dressings, etc are not different in a LTC facility than an acute. And keeping someone comfortable and properly medicated if they are dieing requires a lot of talent and compassion. Finally, as the nurse/pt ration is often much higher in a LTC area, you really have to learn how to organize your time!
  14. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from mianders
    It all depends what you want to do with your nursing career. If you stay at a LTC you will not develop a lot of the skills you would in an acute care facility. If you plan on spending your whole career there then more power to you.
    I work at a nursing home (LTC/SNF combo), and I am definitely an LTC nurse with some skills. I work on a short-term rehabilitation unit where the typical patient is discharged home in 2 weeks.

    I deal with mostly postsurgical patients who are too deconditioned to go home. These patients are CABGs, knee and hip arthroplasties, thromboembolectomies, hysterectomies, post CVAs, fractures, and so forth. One time I received a gentleman who was badly beaten and robbed, and needed reconditioning. Many of my patients are middle-aged, and wouldn't fit the description of the average nursing home patient.

    I regularly give drugs via IVPB and IV push, especially antibiotics. We frequently must start our own IVs to create peripheral access. I remove sutures and staples, dress complicated wounds, apply new ostomy appliances, operate nebulizers, CPM (continuous positive motion) machines, iceman machines, oxygen tanks, concentrators, and PEG tubes. I had been employed on a traditional long term care unit for a year, and I had not been exposed to some of these skills that are necessary in the short term rehab unit.

    There's always something to learn at my workplace, which happens to be a nursing home. The opportunities might not be so obvious, so you have to be aggressive and seek them out.

    Not all LTC nurses are 'deskilled.'

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