Heat and LTC facilities
- 0Jul 2 by motherof3sons, BSN, RNHere in the North we don't have central AC....and today it was well above 90. Our facility has a few AC units--one in the nurses office(doesn't cool much due to door open/close), the dining rooms have 2, and two other offices have AC. Needless to say it was HOT. The residents fair pretty well....only a few mention the heat. The staff feel it the most.
What about where you are at?
- 4Jul 2 by VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN GuideThere is a regulation that states these places must be at least 300 degrees year-round. Just kidding, but there really are regulations governing the building temperature, e.g. thermostat must be set between 72 and 76 degrees (I think each state is different). It is of course for the residents' comfort, not ours.
- 4Jul 3 by bluegeegoo2My area of the building happens to face west...in Texas. Therefore, the sun roasts my unit from around noon until sunset. The air is on, set at 67 degrees in most areas. It feels like 167 lately, and we haven't even hit the hot part of summer yet. Most of the complaints come from staff and family members. A handful of residents complain and they are provided fans. (Y'know, to blow the heat around.) I worry about my respiratory residents the most and keep a close eye on them. As for me, I have Rx strength deodorant. I think everyone appreciates that.
- 2Jul 3 by kisziMy facility provides a heater/ac combo in each room, like in a hotel room. So I'll go from one room where I break out in a sweat giving meds to a LOL wrapped in a blanket to the next room where I can feel my nose start to get cold and hear "turn the ac up! I'm so hot!"
The worst is when you have roommates who constantly fight over the temperature setting.
The halls are hot but not unbearable. Could be worse! Brings to mind my old factory job working around huge ovens all day. There was ac but it only served to keep everyone from dropping dead.
- 1Jul 3 by amoLuciaAnd of course, it'll be the chilly Willy closest to the AC wall unit (or below the ceiling vent) and the Hotty will be the one closest to the door! And let's not even talk about the pt who will open the window to let in the 100 degree 'breeze'.
Works the same way in reverse when it's the wintertime!
Sometimes when the weather was brutally hot/cold, we'd have to have temperature monitoring hourly with a heat/cold plan ready to implement.
One place had heat problems for the staff in the summer. They allowed the staff to wear shorts. NO jean shorts, nothing tight or hip-hugging or droopy-drawers. Clean, no holes. And if the policy was abused, it would be rescinded. Staff was compliant.
Scrub tops and good shoes WITH socks were required also.
- 1Jul 4 by txredheadnurseI am a "fluffy" person so I already feel the heat plus I must wear pressure hose year round, I am in Texas and I take Synthroid so my heat tolerance is already impaired. So when I was doing audits in SNFs I would be literally soaking wet after an hour. At the end of the day I looked like someone had dumped a bucket of water over my head. I started carrying a small old fashioned paper fan with me so I could at least move the air around my face and evaporate the sweat before it flooded my eyes and blinded me. I was dehydrated and exhausted at the end of day.
I also noted that sometimes the excessive heat would cause the gelatin caps to stick to the blister packs or sort of melt together in the bottle. I am sure the high temps also damaged all the meds to some degree. I lost count of how many times I went into a med room to discover it either didn't have any vents in it at all or they were closed off. Most meds need to be stored in conditions less than 82 degrees. I swear some of those hallways and med rooms were well over 90 degrees at times.
- 1Jul 4 by motherof3sons, BSN, RNI was joking with another nurse that I was going to the gates of Hades referring to our med room. It has 4 refrigerators and no ventilation in it. It was at least 95 in there and what I had to do couldn't be done anywhere else. That heat with no air almost takes your breath away. There was a lot of sweating and cussin about the heat!
- 4Jul 4 by VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN GuideI'll never forget working swing shift in LTC on the one and only 110-degree day our small city has ever seen. To say that it was a miserable experience would be the understatement of the year.....even for someone who's as heat-tolerant as I am. (I don't even come out of long sleeves till the temperature's over 75 degrees, and I only lose my happy thoughts once it hits the century mark.) There was no AC, only swamp coolers that cooled off NOTHING. We were all walking around with wet towels around our necks, and even the residents who were always freezing were complaining about the heat.
I had the kitchen fix up a hydration cart for the residents, even though most of them were never thirsty and usually refused the extra fluids ("all it does is make me pee"). Then I went and asked the administrator to go to Costco and get us a couple big boxes of Popsicles, which were a hit with staff and residents alike. We gave them out PRN, even to the diabetics, and darned if we all didn't get through the night.