Long term care is really THIS bad???

  1. 1
    I have just finished up getting my CNA certification and decided to do some volunteer hours at a local long term care facility to bulk up my resume (and due to the lacking jobs). The facility SEEMED pretty nice and well maintained however I was somewhat horrified by the total lack of respect some of the healthcare workers had to the facilities elderly residents. Just because some of them act especially needy or act inappropriately due to a elderly disorder (in my mind) doesn't mean a staff member can just sit around talking on their phones about going out to the bar later while they ignore their patient! Most of the staff also was totally nasty looking too...Some of the employees smelled like alcohol/cigarettes/B.O. I don't think I saw ANYONE wash their hands ONCE, their clothes had sweat stains and other crap all over their scrubs IF they were wearing scrubs. It was pretty dang nasty...

    Their behavior didn't seem much better...I didn't say anything though because I couldn't tell if I was just being overly critical. I got upset however when an elderly woman wet herself after she was ignored by the nurses at the nurses station while trying to get their attention. They were too busy talking about their boyfriends or some crap..it was just sad Then there was this other woman who had a nasty cut on her arm which she was scratching. It was bleeding everywhere and when I told the RN he said that it "wasn't a big deal" since she did it all the time and didn't even wipe her off! I even asked if we could clip her nails or something and he said it didn't matter because she would just do it again eventually. It was just so so sad...I don't know if this is how it usually is at a long term care facility but if it is I'm not sure if I want to work as a CNA at one because I can't deal with people around me treating others so horribly!!! Am I being too sensitive????? I never had this type of encounter while I spent time working as an EMT/Paramedic however that was obviously a totally different type of healthcare setting...At this point I'm ready to get a lawyer to legally note in my will that my kids are never allowed to put me in one of those places I'm so freaked...
    Joe V likes this.
  2. 16 Comments so far...

  3. 4
    LTC is generally the pits. I average 38 patients or so a shift. But the staffing is atrocious, you expect me to handle that many patients along with doing MAR reconciliations? The acuity is too high to deal with it. We have addicts that have attempted to break into our narcotic cabinets, g tubes that keep clogging, addicts that press the call bell nonstop (we don't have a silence button), severely confused patients that are high fall risks but have no restraints ordered (they expect our shift to do toileting every hour and a half while taking care of paperwork and the other 37 patients).

    The administration knows most of us can't find a job so they know we have to stay and deal with this abuse. I'm one of those people the corporate overlords have under their feet. I'm still new and caring for patients leads getting written up due to 5 minutes of incidental overtime.

    LTC isn't that lucrative especially if your state has a safe discharge law, it becomes eventually a homeless shelter for people that had some form of medical condition and now get free care and drugs courtesy of medicare/medicaid/your facility.
    Anne36, Vtachy1, TheCommuter, and 1 other like this.
  4. 3
    Quote from Catch22Personified
    LTC is generally the pits. I average 38 patients or so a shift. But the staffing is atrocious, you expect me to handle that many patients along with doing MAR reconciliations? The acuity is too high to deal with it. We have addicts that have attempted to break into our narcotic cabinets, g tubes that keep clogging, addicts that press the call bell nonstop (we don't have a silence button), severely confused patients that are high fall risks but have no restraints ordered (they expect our shift to do toileting every hour and a half while taking care of paperwork and the other 37 patients).

    The administration knows most of us can't find a job so they know we have to stay and deal with this abuse. I'm one of those people the corporate overlords have under their feet. I'm still new and caring for patients leads getting written up due to 5 minutes of incidental overtime.

    LTC isn't that lucrative especially if your state has a safe discharge law, it becomes eventually a homeless shelter for people that had some form of medical condition and now get free care and drugs courtesy of medicare/medicaid/your facility.
    But it's no excuse for a nurse to treat one of their patients like an animal! I'd NEVER treat another human with that kind of disrespect and people who work in places like that who do don't need to be nurses! There is no way their actions are legal...
    xtxrn, itthybitthythpider, and LTCangel like this.
  5. 2
    I agree it's no excuse and it sounds like that place doesnt care
    xtxrn and LTCangel like this.
  6. 3
    I love the LTC facility that I work at. I see compassion, caring, and respect every day. I am proud to be working there and would have any of my family members there if they needed Care. The caring starts with the department heads and trickles down. Several of the employees do have family members who live there. I have had two job offers since I started, one in a clinic and one in a hospital and I haven't felt like they would be any better then where I work now. I'm staying with my LTC hospital.
  7. 1
    I worked at a long-term care facility (the same one) for almost five years. Funny thing, because working with the elderly was not what I thought I wanted to do when I graduated from nursing school. But, like many others, I started out there, and I have to say that geriatrics will now always have a special place in my heart. Long term care is what you make of it -- I know my unit was a tight-run ship with a family-like atmosphere. You have the luxury of really getting to know your patients (all 28 of them!) and their individualized needs. When you set the standard of care high for your patients and lead by example, I personally have found that others working with you on the unit tend to do the same. When things don't run smoothly or there are problems, you may have to go above and beyond to make sure things get resolved or revised, but it's well worth it if you want a well-run unit. I have had to "clean up" after many nurses who really don't seem to care. It's a burden at times, but I have always said that you have to decide what kind of nurse you are going to be. It's easy to be a crappy nurse. It takes effort to be an excellent nurse. Nursing takes 110%. Long-term care can be very rewarding if you are willing to put in the effort. Yes, it's challenging; your patients have complex medical histories and multiple diagnoses. But, it's also a great place to gain experience in many aspects of nursing.
    itthybitthythpider likes this.
  8. 0
    I have to say when I was recently offered a job in a LTC facility (because lack of hospital jobs for new Grads) I came on this site to ask questions and couldn't believe how many negative comments are made about LTC. I was so nervous about starting job and getting into this field all together.
    I have always enjoyed the elderly, however wasn't planning on starting out working with them as a new Grad. I started my orientation this week, and have done 3 days so far (still scheduled for 3 more weeks) and I absolutly love this place.
    So.. I have to say, before you decide to apply to LTC, even if it's just to get your foot into the door of Nursing... you must investigate the facility and then decide if you should even apply. There are plenty of sites online that rate the facilities and tell you if they have any deficencies. Go and take a tour of the place, ask how the employee turnover rate is...ect. If you wouldn't be comfortable with your own family member working there, then don't work there.
    The facility I was just hired at is family owned, all the employees I have met so far are long term employees, the Nurses, CNA's, even down to the kitchen help! Most of the Nurses have been there over 10 years and they are young nurses. The starting pay was alot more than I expected $29.30. (more than our hospitals start out at).
    All the Nurses have been very welcoming and helpful. The CNA's are all professional and caring, they treat the residents like their own family. The facility is clean, bright, and run like a tight ship. When I read the policy book, I thought I was entering the military!
    So... I am glad I was not scared away by all the "negative publicity" of LTC facilities. Like anything else, you have to do your homework and make sure it's a good fit for you. And of course I think you must like the elderly as well.... If you are taking the job just to get your foot in the door, but you don't even like working with the elderly... then you are doing a disservice to yourself and the residents.
  9. 0
    One more point I forgot to make... alot of people complained that when they started in LTC they were just "thrown into the job" no trainning or orientation... which I am sure is true for most places. So I would also suggest that if you apply somewhere and then get an interview, ASK what there orientation consists of. If they don't have one or it sounds like it's not "adequate" trainning or support... Then don't take the job or insist you want proper Orientation.
    I was told that I would not be on my own untill I was comfortable.
    Good luck to anyone who is planning on going into LTC.





    Bea
  10. 2
    The patients and the good staff members desperately need others like you and themselves so if you can stand it then do it.
    mmc51264 and itthybitthythpider like this.
  11. 0
    I'm not impressed with staffing, but I love the elderly. I've been working LTC for 10 months and I just obtained certification in geriatrics. I would be happy to eventually move to psych or palliative care. I think it depends where you work.


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