Not worth hurting someone or losing my license

  1. I'm a new LPN graduate who said that after graduation I would never work in a LTC facility. Well after four months of being out of school I thought I would apply and try a LTC facility. Well it was exactly what I though it would be. I managed to make it through 4 days of orientation. What a nightmare. I have never been so overwhelmed and scared in my life. How is it humanly possible to do 2 med passes, wound care, accuchecks and administering insuling in an appropriate time, calling doctors, doing Medicare charting and somewhere in the middle of it all spending 2 minutes with a patient who might need you to show some compassion. Well giving compassion sets you behind. In the four days that I worked there I met some of the most precious patients who I would love to of got to know besides thats furosemide, kcl, and insuling patient who has a foley. If that is nursing I don't want any part of it. I know that medications and paperwork are a big part of nursing but somewhere in there I would think the patients come in to play. I couldn't complain to much of about the pay but then again for the liablility I was taking and the fact that I came home knowing I had to hand some of my nursing moments (not nursing care but affection) off to CNA's because I did not have time, the pay couldn't be high enough. When I quit the DON proceeded to tell me that I would eventually get a system and I would be able to get everything done. Yeah maybe according to policy (med pass, charting etc.) but what about the patients?
    I guess I'm one that believes a touch, a smile and time with someone works better than all the medicine in the world, especially in a LTC facility where your time is the only time they may get.
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    You will make a wonderful nurse! I tip my hat to anyone who works LTC because it's one of the most difficult jobs to have, I couldn't do it for the same reasons you just listed. I commend you for knowing what you want and what your pts need.
  4. by   TheCommuter
    I am sorry your LTC experience went badly. Not all LTCFs are bad, and I would have a difficult time imagining myself doing something other than working in a nursing home.

    However, your DON was correct. As your medication passes became faster, you would have had plenty of time to socialize with your patients.
  5. by   angiems
    I did the LTC also I loved the residents. As you said it was overwhelming, I was the only license for 8 hrs, after supper was the real nightmare, there was always falls at that. I voiced my concerns to the DON, his response was "people in nebraska don't sue" I just looked at him I could not believe he would say that. I thought what a little time with these residents. So U understand where you are coming from
  6. by   kstec
    Thank you for responding. Compared to a lot of nurses I started my prereq's in my late twenties and did not even graduate from the LPN program until this June. I did the husband and kids first and then school. I've always wanted to be a nurse (if that's what I can call myself since I'm an LPN) but due to time and money it wasn't an option. I thought when I graduated that I would go to work somewhere and get the tremendous "warm fuzzy's" when I started and come to find out nursing is exactly what I hoped that it wasn't ($$$$$$$$). How much money can a facility bring in in comparison the staff cost. at the expense of hurting patients and of course blaming the nurse. I apologize for the comment earlier regarding calling mystelf a nurse but here in Illinois an LPN cannot step into a hospital anymore due to I suppose lack of education. There is a big todoo about if your an LPN, RN ADN, RN BSN or higher. The ability to be a better nurse goes up with the more letters you have after your name. I'll admit I don't know as much as someone with a BSN, but I'm not asking to do the same things either. I want to do what is in my scope of practice and most of all I just want to be able to give quality care that will help contribute to my patients healing. Well enough of that, I guess I'm just trying to figure out this whole career called nursing. All in all I just want to find that job that will give me "warm fuzzy's!!!"
  7. by   AfloydRN
    Give it a little more time. Sounds like your orientation sucked. Ask for more time or shadow someone who has been there for a while.
  8. by   GPatty
    Having a "system" really does help, and I commend you on your efforts to give personal nursing care. I too, like to spend time with my residents, however, the politics in my facility has turned me totally against the facility, certainly NOT my residents (cutting pay 2x, then cutting hours, and now, our insurance is gone) so I have had to go elsewhere.
    It's a sad situation, but has to be done.
    When you do get a system down, you will find yourself much more comfortable and enjoying your job.
    God bless!
  9. by   P_RN
    I've always wanted to be a nurse (if that's what I can call myself since I'm an LPN)
    ktsec You ARE a Nurse. Definitely!
  10. by   Dixielee
    You sound like a terrific person who went into nursing for the right reasons. I hope you are able to find a niche where you get your warm fuzzies. Sometimes they are few and far between but they are what keep you going.

    And, yes, you are a nurse. Don't sell yourself short. We are all just trying to do the best job we can with what we have to work with. Try to hang in there.
  11. by   nursesaideBen
    One day when I'm old and sick I hope I have a nurse like you taking care of me! It's a shame the hospitals in your state won't let you work there, have you considered perhaps a clinic setting where you can get to know your patients better? You'd also be giving lots of injections and vaccinations depending on what type of clinic you worked and many clinics even do I.V. therapy if that's something that would interest you. There's also home health, hospice, prison nursing, school nursing (not sure if LPN's can be school nurses in your state), adult day cares, private sitting, here in VA the American Red Cross hires a lot of LPN's to do blood mobiles, etc. Best of luck to you, and don't give up hope, you'll find your nich!!:icon_hug:
  12. by   weetziebat
    Quote from kstec
    I thought when I graduated that I would go to work somewhere and get the tremendous "warm fuzzy's" when I started and come to find out nursing is exactly what I hoped that it wasn't ($$$$$$$$). How much money can a facility bring in in comparison the staff cost. at the expense of hurting patients and of course blaming the nurse.

    Sorry you had to have this experience, but you now know the 'real' nursing world. Its all about greed, money and power.

    There are places out there that are better than others, but they're hard to find, and personally I've never found any LTC facility I'd put in the 'better' category. I've heard they exist though.

    The days of sitting with patients, getting to know them and being able to spend 'quality' time with them is long gone. It was that way when I graduated as an LPN in 1971, but then nursing was different in Florence's time too. Don't think we'll ever see the return of either. Unfortunately, in many ways, as nursing care needs more 'art' as well as all the 'science'.
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    i have always found that ltc as a rule gives more time with pts than med-surg
    i have worked in hospital when i tried to chart i couldn't remember what the pt looked like, i had not seen them since morning rounds
    find something that best serves your own personal talents
    the future is out there..enjoy it
  14. by   Pompom
    Unfortunately there are times when compassion takes a back seat to tasks at hand. LTC is notoriously short staffed and therefore you will have much less personal time with patients. With experience you will gain a system to help with the many tasks at hand and it will allow you more time with patients. Good luck with your decision.

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