Considering LTC

  1. Hello All!
    I'm an RN considering applying for a LTC position and thought I'd look for some opinions from those of you already working in that area of nursing.

    First of all, I've never worked in LTC, as a nurse or CNA. I was a CNA in a hospital for 2 years and have been an RN in the community health setting for 3 years (first as a PHN and then in a community clinic). I do NOT want to work in a hospital, but I have a 10 month old and am interested in finding a w/e only position so I can avoid putting him in daycare. Currently my mom watches him on the days I work, but I'm not sure how much longer she can do that.

    Here are my questions:

    Do any of you truly enjoy your jobs?

    What is the main role of an RN in the LTC setting?

    And, what are the main drawbacks to working LTC as you see it?

    Thank you Thank you Thank you in advance for any insight you can offer!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   fultzymom
    do any of you truly enjoy your jobs? yes i like my job. i have worked in ltc for five years.

    what is the main role of an rn in the ltc setting? i was a nursing supervisor and had 12 skilled patients of my own. i took care of the meds, treatments, charting on my patients plus i was supervisor over a 150 bed facility. i did admission assessments, any ivs that would be in the house, and help the lpns if they had any questions or problems with their patients. now i am a mds nurse but i work 5 days per week and all weekdays. ltc usually needs people who want to work evening/weekend shifts and you often have a higher pay rate.

    and, what are the main drawbacks to working ltc as you see it? the drawbacks are they are usually short staffed. also families can be demanding but it is still a rewarding job.
  4. by   Jo Dirt
    A lot of times you will be doing the same thing the LPN's do, because the Indian positions have far more openings than the Chief positions.
    You'll get paid a little more, though.

    I'm finished with LTC and won't go back. Worked there on and off for six years and that has been enough for me. Time to move on.
  5. by   sharlynn
    It would depend on the size of the facility and the state requirements. In this state, in smaller LTC's an RN is required only 8 hrs per day. On week-ends you would be supervising everyone, LPN"s and aides. If you were working as a staff nurse, you would be passing meds, doing treatments and charting.
    LTC is very rewarding. I've worked in LTC over 12 years and love it.
  6. by   Almabella
    Two of you have mentioned "treatments." What kind of treatments are you talking about? My IV skills are rusty, but I'm sure I could jump right back on that if I had some training. Would the facility provide me with training for other sorts of skills they would expect of me, do you think? Since I've been in the community setting for the past three years I would probably need it.

    Anyway, thanks for the replies!
  7. by   fultzymom
    Quote from Almabella
    Two of you have mentioned "treatments." What kind of treatments are you talking about? My IV skills are rusty, but I'm sure I could jump right back on that if I had some training. Would the facility provide me with training for other sorts of skills they would expect of me, do you think? Since I've been in the community setting for the past three years I would probably need it.

    Anyway, thanks for the replies!
    Treatments would be like any surgery wounds that you are taking care of, any skin wounds such as bed sores, dressing changes to tube feed sites, creams that have to be applied (some facilities allow the STNAs to do this), ect.

    Be up front with them about anything they are not sure about. If it is a good facility they will accomodate you with what training you need. At my facility, they require 3 IV starts (not successful but they want to watch the technique).
  8. by   sharlynn
    The facilities I've worked in rarely if ever had IV's. Treatments are dressing changes on decubs, skin tears, surgical etc , and applying creams to rashes and things like that. Usually nothing big.
  9. by   sassynurse78
    I think it is something you should try, although it isn't for everyone. I would suggest walking into a facility you are considering around 6 pm when the chiefs have gone home and the Indians are fending for themselves, just to see if they seem ok-not frazzled and generally friendly.

    There is a common misconception in my area that "nursing home nurses" do not use the same skills as a "hospital nurse" would, I can assure you this is not the case. My night is spent passing meds, assessing pts. supervising staff, dealing with families, phone calls, etc.

    I say give it a go!
  10. by   CoffeeRTC
    I think you will find there is a big difference in the level of care in alot of LTCs. Some are more sub acute skilled and others are more LTC. Also the size of the facility will have a factor in what your roll will be. I also suggest to go in off hrs and see if they will give you a tour. Ask at at the interview what the duties are.


    Do any of you truly enjoy your jobs? I really do enjoy my job. I love the fact that I do get to build relationships with my residents and family.

    What is the main role of an RN in the LTC setting? Again...it depends on the facility size and the shift. I do meds/ treatments/ charge, supervise staff, deal with patient and family complaints, deal with housekeeping and laundry issues, deal with any small or minor maintance issues, deal with the docs. (this is a small 50 bed facility and I work 3-11 weekends)

    And, what are the main drawbacks to working LTC as you see it?
    Short staffing, higher turnover, difficult work. short supplies at times on the weekends.

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