I recently started a job in a LTC facility. I am a new LPN and am finishing school for my RN. The problem is I am so upset with this job. I feel that there are too many people to get meds to, 40+ and too little time to do it. I am rushing as fast as i can while still trying to be as safe as possible. Safety wins with me so I am slow compared to the other nurses. I just feel like I am not providing safe care, when there are so many meds and so little time. I had 4 days orientation, and this was one more day than usual. Is this a normal amount for a new nurse?? Help! I don't even want to go back to work. Should I quit or should I stick it out realizing that I may get faster as I do it more, and that the job won't be so overwhelming. This place has 3 nurses to 80+ patients, is this a reasonable ratio??
[This message has been edited by allevi (edited July 03, 2000).]
Jul 3, '00
Allevi... I completely understand your frustration. The same thing happened to me a few years ago when I first started at the facility where I'm still working. This is an 84 bed unit, with the 50 beds upstairs housing our dementia residents. On top of these already overwhelming numbers, the upstairs was being renovated, which meant all those residents were moved downstairs for the duration, creating havoc. I was ready to quit. What kept me going was the fact that most of the staff had been there for years (an average of 12), and they all seemed happy. I decided to stick it out for 6 months and see what happened. Well, it did get easier, especially once the renovations were completed. I came to know all the residents, and what their usual meds were, and although still time consuming, it is much smoother now. We also have 3 nurses working day and evening shifts... I floor nurse for each floor, and a med nurse for the upstairs residents. This seems to work well, as the med rounds upstairs can take 2 hours or more.
Hope this helps... if you have any more questions, feel free to email me.
Oct 9, '00
A four day orientation is a joke, you barely have time to learn the residents and if the facility you are working at is like the ones around here, they do not wear arm bands.
I say go right to the manager, tell her your concerns and ask for more orientation. Also put you concerns in writing. Things miraculously have a way of happening when things get put in writing.
Even with extra time for orientation, I can honestly say that you will probably feel overwhelmed for a while. I do not work LTC, but it took me a few months to not feel overwhelmed in my current position. Yes there were days that I just dreaded going to work, but these days are not as often anymore and I am getting more comfortable by the day.
Give yourself time to get into the swing of things.
I will not tell you whether or not you should leave this position or stay. That is a very personal decision that needs to be made by the person involved.
Try to find a mentor. Having someone to bounce things off of helped me tremendously.
Oct 9, '00
I, too, experienced the same problem. There is not enough time to pass meds, assess, toilet, bath, attend to safety issues, do treatment, document and do paperwork,do it all safely and relate in a meaningful way to residents. Hang in there, though, you don't have to work there forever and you will find your niche as soon as you are there long enough to leave. It may take a three or four job changes before you feel you are in the right place.
Oct 10, '00
I can relate to your situation very much. I too was working as an LPN in a LTCF (skilled with 75+ beds) while going to school for my RN. I found it very hard to get used to such a new, demanding-high-stress-high-responsibility career while still trying to learn in school. I worked every weekend and every holiday for my first semester of RN school. It nearly ruined my becoming a nurse because I just couldn't keep up with the demands of the job as well as school. I had a lot of support from friends, family, and teachers that pretty much said "stick with school, you'll be a great nurse". Despite this support,I thought many times about quitting my job as well as school. I finally decided that school was much more important to my future and I quit my job. I'm so grateful that I did, because my attitude toward nursing slowly improved and I am now happily working as a charge nurse in a 47 bed basic care facility. I love my job and I am always amazed at the complete about face my attitude has taken. I don't know your whole situation so I will just say: Keep your hours to a minium and if it is jeopardizing your ability to perform in school, you should reevaluate your priorities. It is great to get experience as a nurse while you are going to school though you must be careful it doesn't paint a picture of how nursing really is. You are just beginning and too much learning at once is overwhelming. Good luck
Oct 28, '00
Well I stuck it out for 5 months by the time that I quit my job!!! I still hate it. The residents were the only thing that kept me going back.
I put in my resignation on Monday. Went and applied for a job Wednesday, was offered that job on Wednesday pm. The same day, I received a phone call from the place I used to work as a cna, and was asked if I would be interested in coming back to work there as a nurse. I am so excited to be going back to work there, I did take a slight cut in pay, but i had only been making the higher wage for about two weeks anyway. Sometimes the money isn't always important. Anyway just wanted to update on my situation.
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