Long-Term Care Nursing: A Specialty In Its Own Right - page 3

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

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Long-term care nursing is a specialty that involves helping patients who need extended care as they deal with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Long-term care nurses coordinate the care of patients, perform nursing skills, ... Read More


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    I just want to add my 2 cents. I've been a nurse for 17 yrs, 5 as Lpn and the remainder, RN. I have worked virtually everywhere. I finally decided to return to LTC for numerous reasons, not the least of which is the unprofessional way acute care nurses care for their patients and each other when under stress. Unreal people. The ED was the worst. I quit after a year when I saw what a meat market it was. Also did ICU, med-surg. I believe I made a real difference everywhere I worked. Very passionate about giving evidenced based care, listening, and if necessary, hectoring MD's to get results. I am confident, not pushy, and decided LTC would be nice. So, I support all the LTC nurses I ran away from so quickly 12 years ago.

    Now, I am hoping to get some certification so I can move up the chain in my facility as we are woefully outdated in our policies and procedures. But, we give awesome care. I love the interactions with most of my patients. They can be so sweet, even when they are trying to be nasty, its kind of fun, but mostly they want some control. Many have lived long productive lives and find their situations difficult to transition to. I totally get that and am very supportive. I know I sound like Florence Nightingale or something, but I'm not and I know it. I have my faults too. I don't like to make people accountable, it makes me uncomfortable. I recently stepped down from an Acting management position because of long-timers still practicing 1970's era medicine. So, really, I am looking for advice on advanced creditation. I avoided these programs for Med-surg, I.V. therapy, and others for reasons too numerous to mention here.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on really good programs for certification. I want to learn what IS correct, what IS necessary as far as compliance is concerned because I can't trust the info the old-timers are giving me. They have their own strengths, but in my facility, they consider me a thorn because I don't believe certain practices are nursing judgements, I don't believe the redundant paperwork is necessary. I want us to move into this century and don't have a mentor. Any advice on certification programs would be greatly appreciated. I esp. need to know about state regs, compliance issues, F-tags. etc. Just cause it seemed to work for 30 years doesn't mean its correct for this day and age. Any input would be appreciated. I don't want to change jobs again because of conflicts with more senior colleagues who refuse to retire. I would rather work with, than against them.
    Help!
    Thanks for your time in reading this.
  2. 0
    I agree with you! In fact in our facility those of us who work on the floor and have nothing to do with management wonder what is outdated and what is current. I think we should check ANA's site if not available there ( the information you are seeking), then try contacting ANA and maybe they can direct you to find the current policies.
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    Wow, and I thought I was alone, well I was one of those nurses in the nursing program who did not want to work in LTC at first because I was working as CNA in one already and it was wearing me out, and it was very disorganized, but not all LTC are like that, the one I am at now is a lot better and probably one the best you will ever see, and even has electronic charting. It was until i starting working here i realized that i love LTC, i like getting to know my patients, seeing them recover from chronic illness. One thing that does bother me, is that my mother doesnt see a future for me working in one, reading this article give me hope in a bright future in LTC. Also i am a big fan of 8 hour shifts, i like having some hours out the day to myself, seeing my patient more often. Especially love them elders! I hope this field grows.
    adventure780 likes this.
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    I also like to add it may not have the best pay, like in a hospital, so i feel that nurses who work here do it for a passion.
  5. 0
    I like LTC.

    Just wish that there was some sort of Nursing Home Reform going on.
    I understand that there's a need in the hospital b/c of acuity and whatnot.
    But what about our geris? Can they get a slice of the nurse ratio sandwich?
    Why not adequate staffing for our seniors?
    It's like this society just throws them (and those suffering from mental illnesses) to the dogs.
    People in LTC tend to get slammed. But they're doing their best with what they've got.

    I'm hoping that things will change with the aging of the boomers. Surely, they'll make some weighty demands and then we'll see change.
    I want to go into the hospital because I miss the environment, but also? It's kind of propelled by the notion (implanted in my head during nursing school) that I'm missing out if I don't. ...that I should try to get the hospital exp in order to further my options and, possibly, to further my career.
    I'm too new to nursing to know better. I don't want to box myself in.
    So...I do as I've been instructed.
    I don't actually want to work MedSurg or ICU. I just want the crit care experience because it'll make me that much better. Or, at least, I hope it will. I wouldn't mind spendng my entire career in the LTC, though.
  6. 0
    Critical care experience is a good thing... something drilled into all nurses from the get go. I worked 3yrs as an LPN in LTC prior to returning to school for my RN. As an LPN i was responsible for 43pts so when I did clinicals in PCU I was doing circles around my fellow students. I had no problem taking 5pts with a nurse. While my LTC pts werent as acute as those I took care of during clinicals, if I could manage 43 pts medical social emotional and family needs 5 acute pts was like a cake walk.
    Dont underestimate the skills you develop in LTC, while you may not be the best at starting an IV you will have excellent assessment and time management skills.
    LTC is indeed a specialty all its own.
  7. 0
    Quote from mcuatlacuatl
    Critical care experience is a good thing... something drilled into all nurses from the get go. I worked 3yrs as an LPN in LTC prior to returning to school for my RN. As an LPN i was responsible for 43pts so when I did clinicals in PCU I was doing circles around my fellow students. I had no problem taking 5pts with a nurse. While my LTC pts werent as acute as those I took care of during clinicals, if I could manage 43 pts medical social emotional and family needs 5 acute pts was like a cake walk.
    Dont underestimate the skills you develop in LTC, while you may not be the best at starting an IV you will have excellent assessment and time management skills.
    LTC is indeed a specialty all its own.
    i agree I am in LTC and I sometimes get scared that if I ever went back to acute care I would be bad at starting ivs and stuff. However here I have learned to do trach care, adminster breathing treatments and manage my time better then I did with my short stint in acute care last year. I am new nurse (less than 2 years), so I know I have lots to learn still. Thanks for the great message.
    Wish you all the best!


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