New nurses in LTC - page 2

by Sweeti738 2,582 Views | 14 Comments

Hey guys I've been working in a LTC facility since October 2nd. I've been on my own hall for about 3 weeks now. I'm feeling really torn right now because all the staff at my facility keep telling me to get out now before I get... Read More


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    My first job is in LTC, too. In case I ever want to leave and apply at a hospital, I am keeping track of acute problems I've had the opportunity to deal with, so I can talk about them in an interview. Lots of interesting things have happened and I've only had my job 5 months so far: hemicolectomy pre- and post-op; pre- and post-op cyst that required surgery; pneumonia; cellulitis; pleural effusion; uncontrolled A-fib; gastritis; pre and post DVT... And I also keep track of the stable patients and the meds used to keep them stable. Maybe if you made a list of what you are learning about it will help you see the positive side of your job? Best wishes.
    Sweeti738 likes this.
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    I started at a LTC a day after passing my NCLEX. Had 6 wks orientation (by week 3 I wanted to be out on my own, management saw I was ready). I actually use MORE of my learned skills than one would think. I've also learned how to do other skills with expertise, skills that were taught during lecture and gone over in lab, but were never needed in clinicals. My LTC work has helped greatly with my current RN program. I haven't lost anything working LTC, I've only GAINED.

    Take everything you do as an opportunity to learn and master your skills. If you go in with the attitude you are going to do nothing but 'push pills' you are not going to see all the things you really do other than pass meds. I know for myself while med pass takes up the majority of my time, I also have a zillion other things I do.

    It's falsely assumed by many that LTC are your little old lady/man have chronic and stable conditions. Gone are those days. My floor is LTC, however we get overflow from our rehab/short term, as well as patients who are being d/c from the hospital but are too acute to go home safely. We get them. I have more acute issues with my residents than chronic. Many of the patients I cared for during clinicals in the hospital are the same ones who will be d/c with basically the same issues to the LTC. With the exception of IV fluids etc, there was little difference between what the hospital nurse did for that patient than I will for them when they come to me (actually, ironically one o my patients in my RN clinicals ended up discharged the day after I was there. I went to work at my LTC and who do you think my new patient was..yup, that same patient from clinicals and nope, nothing different in terms of treatments, meds etc was different than what they did in the hospital. Except, she had no iv fluids, but she did have IV antibiotics which i was responsible for in LTC)

    As I said, take every opportunity as something to learn from and hone your skills/techniques from.
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    Thanks for your comments Spring_Peeper and CT Pixie! Since I originally made this post I have really thought about what I do get to do at work and you have helped me realize that I do utilize what I've learned in school. I'm on the "rehab" hall so I've had experiences with several different types of pts from hip replacements to tracheal abscesses. Just reading your comments helped put that into perspective. Thank you all so much! I have to stop feeling like I"m missing out on something and be thankful for the experiences that I am having and the knowledge that I'm adding to what I previously learned.
    MedChica, LTCangel, and CT Pixie like this.
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    I'm glad you've figured that out! I have been a Nurse for 16 years and I started out in LTC as an LPN. Went on to work in the hospital for 14 yrs and some of that in float pool. I ended up on an Ortho/Med-Surg floor and eventually got my RN, BSN. It's a long story as to why I came back to LTC but suffice it to say that I love taking care of our elderly generation. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to have the time to learn the ins and outs of each of my residents. They make me smile, laugh, cry, mad, and very humble to make their last days here as comfortable and happy as possible. In today's world of Nursing, people are being released from the hospital quicker and sicker. My facility tries to make sure that we have performed all interventions possible before sending a resident out to be admitted to the hospital. It comes down to reimbursement. I do understand this because it's the same type of game all areas of healthcare are playing. LTC needs Nurses who can care for these reside ts. Learn all you can and def keep a running list of all the skills you have mastered. And please don't be ashamed to say you care for this nation's elderly. They deserve our best.
    Victori Ismine and Sweeti738 like this.
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    Quote from Sweeti738
    Hey guys I've been working in a LTC facility since October 2nd. I've been on my own hall for about 3 weeks now. I'm feeling really torn right now because all the staff at my facility keep telling me to get out now before I get stuck here. I originally wanted a hospital med/surg position, but I could not find a job because of no experience. I was extremely happy to have finally had a position regardless of where it was at least I was working. Lately I have felt like I am loosing my nursing skills like assessments, care plans, charting, etc. because all I do is push pills. I work 3-11 mon-fri. Sorry this is so long, just me venting. What are your opinions?
    Don't be discouraged. Like the others said, you really are developing skills without realising it. I have been working in LTC for about 9 years now. I pretty much do everything I did on acute except read tele strips and push IV meds that require monitoring. I love getting to know my patients and what their "normal" is.


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