Need some career advice

  1. I am a newer nurse. I have been a telemetry nurse for 1 year now in a small community hospital. It is okay but I do not feel like this is where I belong. I love working with the elderly and went on a interview at a LTC facility. I would be charge nurse of the SNF unit.

    I know this might sound bad but my biggest reservation is that people I have worked with are going to think I am not doing real nursing. Is there a stigma to LTC nursing? I want to get my masters in community health and thought this would be a good opportunity.

    Any advice?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   CapeCodMermaid
    There is a stigma attached to working LTC. People who don't work there have no idea how hard the nurses work and how many different skills you need to have. Working on a rehab/subacute floor is a good way to sharpen your assessment skills, time management skills...and don't forget the IV's, tube feeds, wound vacs, CADD pumps.....As the charge nurse you will be extremely busy and you might find you have to make time to actually interact with the patients. I always helped with the tray pass in the morning. Not only did the CNAs love the help, it gave me a chance to see at least 1/2 of the patients and see how they were that day....Good luck with what ever you do.
    And, by the way, what is 'real' nursing?... 5 or 6 med surg patients? 1 or 2 ICU patients? 2 labor and delivery patients?....what we do in LTC is most certainly real nursing.
    Last edit by CapeCodMermaid on Jan 31, '07 : Reason: had more to say!
  4. by   nurse&mom
    Thank you for the advice. The position sounds rewarding and what I am looking for. Right now on my tele floor, I feel like I am just patching the patietns up and shipping them out. I am looking for more continuity of care. I do not know anyone who works in LTC nd wanted advice on how it really is. Thanks again.
  5. by   kate1114
    Quote from nurse&mom
    Thank you for the advice. The position sounds rewarding and what I am looking for. Right now on my tele floor, I feel like I am just patching the patietns up and shipping them out. I am looking for more continuity of care. I do not know anyone who works in LTC nd wanted advice on how it really is. Thanks again.
    I think that this is your best answer You have to do what feels right to you and what fits your personality. It sounds like you have a well thought-out vision for your future! And the fact that you earlier stated that you love working with the elderly is a definite plus. Go for it!
  6. by   fultzymom
    I have worked in LTC for 4 1/2 years. Yes there are people who think that it is not real nursing. But let me tell you that when you work on a SNF you work your butt off. And you do have to have a lot of skills and knowledge about nursing. The thing I like the best is when someone who has been with us for therapy gets to go home. I like knowing that I am helping someone get ready to go back out into the community and to their home. And sometimes you will get someone who does not get to go home but there is reward in that too. Just doing the little things is sometimes what makes a difference in their life. I love working at my facility and could not imagine leaving. Good luck with your decision. I hope you will decide that LTC needs another good nurse!

    Leslie
  7. by   bill4745
    If you are giving sick people 100% of yourself, it's all real nursing.
  8. by   4everlearning
    I have worked a few different area's of nursing and each is challenging and rewarding in it's own way, and as bill4745 stated, it's all nursing. My best advice to you is do your homework on the facility before accepting the position. Maybe you could even shadow a shift just to get the feel of the place and the people. LTC can be extremely rewarding. It is most certainly challenging in various ways. Wishing you the best!
  9. by   kstec
    Yes LTC is real nursing. In my first week on my own at the LTC facility I work at I observed and reported a patient with bronchitis, one with pneumonia, one who had developed ketoacidosis, one who fell on the floor and and one with an allergic reaction. It was my nursing assessment skills, and critical thinking that helped me help my patients. My patients have anything from a Foley, a g-tube to a dialysis shunt. Geriatrics is a great place to work. The workload can be overwhelming but it is rewarding to know that I'm making a difference in their lives.
  10. by   romie
    Unfortunately most people cannot get it into their heads that there is nuring beyond the hospital!!

    I am currently in a direct entry masters program and will be in RN in May 08. I left my old position as an Alzheimer's Director this month but have been reassured that i am absolutely rehireable. Here is a question for all of you. Immediately after I get my RN, I know that my former company will hire me as a DON or ADON because I have 2 years management experience in their company and will have a nursing degree from a very prestigious school in the area. Would it be careeer suicide to immediately become a DON and accept their $80-90K a year offer or do really have to settle for a year of med/surg making only $50K a year?
  11. by   georgieporgie282
    To Nurse&Mom: I'm kind of in the same situation--about to make a major career change. Only I'm leaving LTC and going to acute care. I've worked at the same facility for 10 yrs., as staff nurse, MDS/Care Plan, and RN Supervisor. Due to some administrative changes, myself and several other senior nurses have decided it is best to find employment elsewhere. It was not an easy decision, I LOVE geriatrics and worked with an awesome group of nurses and STNAs. I will miss a lot of things about my job. I have accepted a position at a local hospital on a telemetry floor, and I'm scared to death! The hospital has assured me I will be well-trained, I will follow a preceptor and have classes lasting 10 to 12 weeks. But I'm very afraid of the change. I'm also afraid the nurses I will be working with will look down on me for having only worked in LTC/SNF. At the same time, I'm ready to spread my wings. Wish me luck!:angel2:
  12. by   subee
    Quote from nurse&mom
    I am a newer nurse. I have been a telemetry nurse for 1 year now in a small community hospital. It is okay but I do not feel like this is where I belong. I love working with the elderly and went on a interview at a LTC facility. I would be charge nurse of the SNF unit.

    I know this might sound bad but my biggest reservation is that people I have worked with are going to think I am not doing real nursing. Is there a stigma to LTC nursing? I want to get my masters in community health and thought this would be a good opportunity.

    Any advice?
    Those people are ignorant and don't pay any attention to them. Most citizens don't understand what nursing is regardless of where we work. LTC is (slowly) becoming a real specialty alongside with the rise of genontology as a science. Nurses who don't know that aren't well read and are missing the big picture. When these characters who put you down have their own family in a LTC facility, their attitude will change about the inportance of what you do. LTC would seque in to community health very well. Enjoy.

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