Its really NOT a fate worse then death - page 2

by KRSLPN 4,650 Views | 28 Comments

I now work in LTC, 7 years, after a 10 year stint in acute care. My question/comment is, WHY do some people act as if working in LTC is a fate worse then death? I'm sure there are plenty of sub-standard, poorly run facilities... Read More


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    How much status a nursing specialty has is related to how much the patient population is valued by the society.
    In the US, youth and health and independence is valued. LTC is the land of the frail, dependent and chronically ill elderly.
    If you work in mental health, prison or long term care, the patient population will have lots of people without power or status.
    ElSea, Vespertinas, NurseDirtyBird, and 2 others like this.
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    I've worked in ER, CVICU, School health and LTC. I've never felt more like a real nurse than I did when working in LTC. In the hospital, a patient codes and you have your beautiful code cart and monitors and drugs and 15 people in the room working together to save a life. In LTC it is you and a cna or two. There is no doc or resp. therapists there 24/7. That resident depends on you and only you.
    IowaKaren, NRSKarenRN, tewdles, and 3 others like this.
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    I totally agree that nursing schools play a large part in this negative perception of LTC. The emphasis is skewed so heavily toward hospitals it isn't funny. Nursing students are hit over the head with the notion that "real" nurses work in the hospital. They need more clinicals in skilled nursing facilities and sub acute care. Espeically since all indicators point toward these areas, not the hospital, will be were the major growth is.

    I enjoy my LTC job. And if I ever transfer to acute care, any smart manager would realize my LTC background is a plus, not a liability. LTC teaches you to be fast, efficient and resourceful. Being able to spot and treat a brewing case of pneumonia or CHF exacerbation during a 40-resident med pass is no small feat. It's something only a "real" nurse could do.
    1feistymama, IowaKaren, Indy, and 4 others like this.
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    I have worked in LTC for 6 years and as someone else said it is you and a handful of CNA's after all the admin staff leave at 4....It takes some good nurses to work in LTC to know when someone is in crisis or is something to wait on. At our facilityon 3-11pm, I am the only RN for 45-50 residents, 2 med techs to pass meds and 6 CNA's. 8 hours go by in a flash!
    IowaKaren, prnqday, tewdles, and 1 other like this.
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    When I went through nursing school, you had to survive 7 weeks in LTC before you got to acute care. It weeded out a lot of people from the programme. It still does.

    I worked LTC for roughly the first 4 years of my nurse life. There weren't a lot of acute care jobs around and the student loan had to be repaid.

    I learnt time management, med passes, efficient wound care and charting. I worked like a dog. Tube feeds, baths, incontinence and guilt ridden families.

    I moved to Acute Care and thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I knew I was a surgical nurse. The Manager who hired me basically said that she found nurses who came from LTC weren't afraid of work and could manage their time..

    I respect those nurses who make a career in LTC but it's not me.
    1feistymama, prnqday, RNperdiem, and 2 others like this.
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    Quote from KRSLPN
    I now work in LTC, 7 years, after a 10 year stint in acute care.
    My question/comment is, WHY do some people act as if working in LTC is a fate worse then death? I'm sure there are plenty of sub-standard, poorly run facilities around the country, but they aren't all bad and working in LTC can actually be a lot better then acute care.
    Is there anyone else who feels as I do about working LTC?
    I have worked as an RN in LTC for 20 years. Never in the hospital. I hate the bad rap that we get. I receive patients frequently from the hospital who have not been bathed,shaved and have hospital acquired pressure wounds. Things that we are accused of all the time. The fact is we are more regulated than hospitals and suffer grave consequences for poor care. In enjoy LTC not always who I work with or for but I love my residents.
    prnqday, tewdles, and Fiona59 like this.
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    Because some people are snobs-plain and simple.
    1feistymama, snazzy-jazzy, and tewdles like this.
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    Yay! I love LTC!
    When I first took a CNA class, I told myself (and all who were unfortunate enough to have to listen) that I would never EVER work in a nursing home. About halfway through the class the instructor enlightened everyone. She said, "I keep hearing all this "I never want to work in a nursing home" BS. Let me set you straight: every single one of you will at least start in a nursing home. No hospital is going to hire a completely inexperienced aide unless you know somebody. And you probably don't. Suck it up!" So I did.
    Then I got to nursing school, and guess what...I said it again. Again, had a more enlightened instructor who said essentially the same thing. She was aware of the changing job market for nurses, and I'm glad she told me.
    It wasn't until clinical that I realized I was not an acute-care nurse (I did ok, just didn't like it), and it was a couple years into working that I figured out that it's OK to not want to be an acute care nurse. I found that my most rewarding and my most challenging nursing experiences have been caring for people at the end of their lives. I love LTC, and as soon as my son is old enough for me to work a little more than PRN, I'm going to try hospice. I'll probably keep my PRN spot in LTC though.
    We may not be running codes and "saving lives" all the time, but there is definitely never a dull moment, and I have to think on my feet all day long. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Except maybe hospice, but who knows? I might hate it and go right back!
    IowaKaren and Fiona59 like this.
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    So glad to hear love for the LTC population! I haven't worked in that setting as a nurse yet but I can't wait
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    Thank you for this post. As a LTC nurse,I really needed to hear this tonight.
    IowaKaren and prnqday like this.


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