Greetings! I've been reading articles on allnurses for years at this point but never signed up for an account. However, I decided that now was the time.
I just started at a LTC facility as a new grad after a not so long job search
. Of course, there is the stigma that comes with the territory (long hours, large patient load, etc.) and the inevitable fear of "making a mistake" with a job in LTC. There are plenty of posts on this very site from nurses who are unsure and seeking advice. I admit, I was totally in the same boat.
But now that I've actually started, I thought I'd share a more positive note on this very undervalued specialty. First off, I will say that there are definitely problems that you will encounter in this field. There is often a shortage of supplies, good backup (colleague wise), and a huge workload. But there are a ton of benefits that are overlooked by those unfamiliar with ltc. You will be able to work on an excellent head to toe assessment. You will be able to build wonderful relationships with the residents you see everyday. You will be able to learn your meds. (Every day, over and over again until you feel like a pharmacist). You will be able to make a change in someone's life. These residents are there every day and oft times it just takes a smile or an encouraging squeeze to really brighten someone's day.
Don't forget- good nurses treat holistically. That includes someone's soul. There is a lot of guilt and grieving involved with placing a loved one into a ltc facility and a family member observing you treating their father or mother with respect and decency might mean everything to them. You might not start out as an ICU or ED nurse working with super critical patients as your goal might be but you can (as someone starting out) really work on your time management skills as well as your basics.
My point is, try it out. Don't be afraid. I know there are a lot of things that I don't agree with happening at my facility but I can't wait to try to make a difference. Be the change you want to see. I can't think of a better place to start as a newly licensed nurse.