New in LTC -- Any suggestions for learning all the patients and their special needs?

  1. I will be going into LTC in a couple of weeks... It will be a new experience for me... I'm not worried about dealing with geriatrics because I have always had a way with geriatrics, but I am looking for input on ways to learn so many residents at once and keep up with each of their special needs.... I will work the 7p - 7a shift and will have about 60 patients... I will have a med tech until 11 p....

    Anything I can do or planning I can do from the get go to help me learn so many and keep up with my responsibilities?

    Also, if you have any links to good LTC nursing resources, they would be appreciated too... As I'm always looking for good resources to help me along the way...


    THANKS!
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   ShortFuse_LPN
    Hi! I just recently left LTC after close to 4 years. And must admit that I am really missing it! I'm sorry that I don't have any tips for learning the resident's names and personal needs. For me it just took time....probably over a month before I was able to learn everyone's name. It was a 75 bed facility.

    I'm sure someone here probably has some ideas for you. Good luck with your new job and keep us posted!!
  4. by   AussieAIN
    I work in a nursing home, I've been there almost twelve months and I have to agree with Belinda. It will take a little time to remember all their names, but you'll get there. No worries promise

    Good luck with your new job
  5. by   TodayGod'sGift
    Thanks you two for your posts and encouragement... I am really excited about it... You know, it can just seem a little bit overwhelming when you consider how many patients there are and the orientation in LTC is not all that lengthy.... but I love geriatrics... and think I will really enjoy it...
  6. by   Cubby
    Welcome to the wonderful world of Geriatrics. I have been in LTC for 32 years (my god I am old!) and though I have tried I am incapable of Nursing in any other enviroment.
    You will learn your new residents much the same way you learn about your 'other' friends. Slowly. After you get the moring meds and juice thrown at you just once, you will learn that Sam X takes his meds crushed in pudding. There are so many facets to the geriatric personality, just like anyones. You will hear stories that will amaze you, stories that will make you cry. These are a great group of people who happen to be old. Good luck.
  7. by   maureeno
    maybe there is a kardex with tips/favorites
    or you can
    take a list of residents
    make notes next to their name
    get info from other workers
    never be afraid to ask questions

    you may be surprised how quickly you'll know peoples' names

    and talking about stories...
    I once met a man who as a boy had helped his dad
    fell the trees
    in my neighborhood!
  8. by   Retired Nurse
    Lots of notes to start. And the empirical knowledge of your trustworthy CNA's. Don't be afraid to ask.
  9. by   Tookie
    I coordinate the orientation at our LTC (we call them nursing homes and or Hostels - depending upon their care needs and classifications etc - thats a whole different theme)
    Anyway l have devloped a small tool that is part of the oriantation for new staff and students who come on placement.
    In each house (we have 13 residents to a house) we have a small photo album - in it l place a photo of each resident their date of birth Dr's name Age Diagnosis (s) and a potted care plan ie continent, mobile lifters required showering needs etc (I have it in really small print so that the booklet fits into a pocket and the staff/ student can carry it with them - The booklet never leave the facility and have to be updated regularly - both with photos and information - I have also developed a smilar idea for the domestic staff with relevant information - ie likes and dislike for food etc with photos.
    We also have a handover sheet with the residents names and Dr's names etc - No other info though.
    Getting to know your residents takes tiime - but if their are some tools at your facility ask and tap into those.
    Good Luck
    Tookie

    PS I havent been at work for a whjile so l have just remembered another big job l will have to do when l go back - Oh well thank goodness there is onlt 50 people

    Tookie
  10. by   nursedawn67
    Ask the aides anything you need to know, I have found they know more about the residents then anyone. Good luck!
  11. by   wif411
    You have started on a great adventure---truly--I love LTC and I love nights. The ladies have given you some great advice. I firmly believe in the following:
    *My CNA's are precious to me. I say mine, in the possessive, because they take care of me and I take care of them.
    *The CNA's can you if there is a change in a patients condition fro the start. Do not feel intimidated to ask them. Let them know that although you are the nurse, you value them input and "assessment" of the patient. From the start it is imperative to let them know how valued they are. Work with the team aspect.
    * I recently started at a new facility. I, too, got a list of the patients and made notes beside of it as I went. Who's meds were crushed, who was diabetic, who was A&Ox 4, fall risk, code vs. nocode, ets. It will take time to compily the list. But keep it with you on a clipboard as your Bible and add to it. After a few weeks you will not need it anymore.
    *Get all your supplies together before med passes---stethoscope, flashlight or penlight--so you can see pts without turning on the light, tube feeding materials, etc.
    *Use your report bboard or list of pts to make notes of what to f/u on for report and for charting.
    *Know who your "acutes" are before you make rounds or the first med pass. That way you can look at them during that time and not have to make that long walk to their room again.
    I I think I have rambled but if I can be of any more help let me know or email me.
    Good luck!!!!You can make a big difference in the life of a lot of older people. Remember a lot of these people do not see their families everyday or weekly. My philosphoy(mispelled) is that they may not have had anyone try to make them smile, give them a hug or a reassuring hand on the shoulder. If you have love to give show some of it to them. They are the most neglected population of patients, as far as I am concerned---I mean emotionally.
    sorry to ramble, I will get off of my soap bbox!!!
  12. by   Noney
    I agree with wif411

    There is no better friend to a nurse in ltc then a good nurse's aide. And no worst enemy then a mean one.
  13. by   Monica RN,BSN
    Great posts here.. I was thinking that if you had any spare time,... (probably as busy as we all seem to be, but just an idea just the same) Thought you might offer to volunteer there before you start the new job.. This could give you a heads up in learning names and personal interests if you were to volunteer a few hours of your time in activities. It will take time of just being around them and being socially interactive with them all and including the staff. That takes time too .. CNA's are a jewel... they truly know more than most nurses when it comes to the particulars of how a resident behaves and what they like to do, ect...
  14. by   night owl
    Welcome to the world of geriatrics. As others have mentioned your CNA is your best friend, and learning their names will take awhile. Certain residents you'll learn right off the bat and won't forget and others will take awhile, but eventually you'll learn them all by just working with them and taking care of them. You'll soon learn their Dx etc, their little quirks, what makes them happy, things they like to do, and of course their families, but all it takes is some time and soon it will happen, you'll see. Good luck to you TodayGod'sGift!

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