NURSING SHORTAGE IN LTC?

  1. HI FELLOW LTC NURSES! I AM INTERRESTED IN NOWING HOW THE NURSING SHORTAGE IS EFFECTING LONG TERM CARE ACROSS THE COUNTRY? I LIVE IN IOWA AND WE ARE FEELING THE EFFECTS. WE HAVE STARTED USING OMT'S MORE THAN WE HAVE IN THE PAST FEW YEARS. HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU ALL. WHATS THE ANSWER???
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   123lisa
    I have recently resigned as Director of Long Term and Skilled/Rehab. The staffing here in New Hampshire was awful....we are only a 68 bed facility and spent around 5-8000.00 per month on agency personnell............It was ugly.........I had to leave......couldn't take the 24/7 anymore......kids are more important.......yes the shortage is everywhere.
  4. by   sandigapeachlpn
    I have been in LTC now apprx three years. When I first started at my facility, there was not a real shortage of nurses. Now we are truly hurting. Since I have been there I have never seen an agency nurse. We are down apprx four nurses. This am as I was leaving, an agency nurse came on for an am shift of four hours. I was stunned because this nurse knows nothing about our protocol, fire safety, house procedures, not to mention the right residents with the right meds. I am not knocking her because Lord knows she has got guts to just walk in off the street and feel confident in any setting. There is no way, I could do that. But I was so worried about the residents well being, med errors, documentation, you name it. It is unreal ; ;because we cannot find nurses to come on board and I have been working charge on noc shift as a LPN for several months now with the intent that it was temporary, because we have no one else willing to pull charge, and therefore I fell into it. The irony is that I couldn't take anymore of noc and there was no chance of moving to day hours so I applied for another job. I accepted the job turned in my resignation only to be offered my dream hours, and 2 dollars a hour more if I would stay. When I called the other employer and explained that I could not leave my present job because they offered me a deal that I could not refuse; He tried to match the money and convince me to come aboard with them.. I actually have two nurse managers trying to top each OTHER!! All because of the fact that there are not enough of us. Not to mention that; but there are not enough of us that actually perform according to ethical standards. Just last noc myself and another RN were concerned about the lack of standards, and unethical nursing practice some of the other nurses are dishing up and the fact that they can get by without getting fired because we are so desperate for staffing. So I guess my response is yes, there is quite a nursing shortage in LTC.
  5. by   PaulaP
    In the facility I work at we have a shortage of CNA's but not professionals. I was nurse manager for 2 years from '98-'00. When I took the position we had 7 caregivers and 4 professionals on the day shift,5 caregivers and 3 professionals on 3-11, and 1 professional and 3 caregivers 11-7.(We are a 41 bed unit)Now there are days when staff consists of a nurse manager, LPN and 3 caregivers on the day shift. I am now per diem because the short staffing wore me out! I go back every other weekend on Saturday and there have been days when there were 2 nurses and 2 CNA's for the 41 residents. The saddest part is that many of our residents have been there 5-10 years and they remember how it used to be. We are a hopital based facility as well and handle some pretty acute patients for a skilled nursing facility.
  6. by   newangelofmercy
    I have worked in LTC since graduating 2 yrs ago I am the only nurse in the back unit of 47 to 50 residents and I have 2 STNA's. Is this short? It sure feels short to me most of the time but then I dont know how it is everywhere else I work 3rd shift. I am told I should be able to handle it fine and most of the time I do but it sure can get harry and I worry that residents dont get the care they need even though I do my best any thoughts are appreciated.
  7. by   oramar
    Is this staffing typical, Yes! Is this staffing adequate, NO!
  8. by   nursejanedough
    I just want to apologize to a new nurse I was trying to train to LTC nursing. I had already decided to leave LTC nursing (nursing home nursing) because it was "just too much, too terrible, too dangerous, too depressing" where I worked. I am an RN, training another RN on the med routine. I had already told her to check everyone's wristband before giving meds. We were both setting up meds and she was going to give meds to Ms. Brown. She asked, "Who is Ms. Brown?" I pointed to a woman across the crowded day room in a wheelchair in a pink printed day dress. A few seconds later, I glance up and I see her the giving meds to the wrong resident. I see the resident swallow and when the trainee walks back to me, I said, "You gave the meds to the wrong person, it's the lady sitting next to her". She was horrified because she said the lady did not have a wristband and she had asked a CNA, "Is this Ms. Brown?" and the CNA had said yes. Well, it wasn't Ms. Brown. I realized that most of the residents in the dayroom had on a pink printed dress and were in a wheelchair. The resident that had gotten the wrong meds was fine but very sedated for the next few hours. The trainee RN (with a Masters) felt so guilty she quit. The CNA felt guilty because she thought she knew the resident's name. I felt guilty because I should have told the new RN, "This is hell, but someone has to take care of the old folks". The social worker felt guilty because "daily" the residents manage to get their wristbands off. The future: Masses of confused elderly folks crammed in a dayroom who have managed to wriggle or pull their wristbands off and strange new staff trying to give meds to the wrong people. Actually, it's not the future, it's here.
  9. by   kjmta57
    wow nurse I wish you would put that out to the press.It really touched me.the more I read about LTC and talk with people It makes me wonder as a society we are neglecting our elders.nurses can only do so much.but the taught of getting old and working my butt off for 30 years and sitting in a wheelchair hoping I can get someone to take me to the restroom is extremly depressing.the horror stories some nurses are telling in yahoo bb really is scary that it is going on.a inmate doesnt get what he wants beleive me the press is there screaming why are not our senior citazens importent enough to give them the life they want to live until they die?
  10. by   Heather Plate
    BOY WHEN I ASKED FOR OPINIONS YOU GUYS CAME THROUGH. YOU KNOW WHAT IS SCAREY, IF YOU LOOK AT ALL THE DIFFERENT STATES THESE COME FROM YOU WILL SEE HOW WIDE SPREAD THIS IS. IT SOUNDS LIKE WE ARE ALL IN ONE FACILITY INSTEAD OF DIFFERENT ONES LET ALONE OTHER STATES. DO'NT GET ME WRONG, NO MATTER HOW HARD IT GETS I CANNOT WALK AWAY. I WOULD ONLY BE ADDING TO THE PROBLEM. IF WE DON'T FIND SOLUTIONS THEN WHO WILL BE THERE WHEN ITS OUR TURN TO BE CARED FOR. IS THE PROBLEM NUMBER CRUNCHING, LOW PAY, POOR STAFFIG RATIOS OR ALL OF THE ABOVE! WE ARE A PERTTY POWERFUL GROUP YOU WOULD THINK WE COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! IF ANYONE WANTS TO EXCHANGE IDEAS, VENT FRUSTRATIONS, ETC. I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. MAYBE IF WE START TALKING TO EACH OTHER FROM ACROSS THIS COUNTRY WE CAN LEARN HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, I DON'T KNOW BUT IT IS WORTH A TRY! MY E-MAIL # IS heatherplate@yahoo.com I HOPE TO HEAR FROM SOME OF MY FELLOW LTC NURSES!!
  11. by   ktwlpn
    Severe shortage in this area of Pa also.Just worked 12's Sat and Sun and 8 on Mon.Was asked to come in last Fri for 8 and refused-it was my first day off since the weekend before last.Turned out that if I had gone in Friday I would have worked 8 in a row with the unexpected 12 hour shifts thrown in just for fun.A cna did not show one am-the one I pulled from another unit to replace her left early due to illness.The fun just never stops.Then I was blasted Sun.am by another nurse when I tried to talk to her about the evening shift not following diet orders..We are constantly having problems with food service not bringing our substitute desserts for our residents with special needs.She blasted me because"we can't be responsible for everyone's job in the facility"Well-yes we ARE-when something directly affects our residents.Her staff will just give everyone the same dessert,be they diabetic,lactose intolerant or on thickened liquids they get what ever dietary delivers.She is frustrated-burning out I think from too much over time which we both pull due to another nurse who calls off constantly and often is getting her sick time from us while working prn at another facility and getting a premium wage(can not prove that)Our unit is smelly with nasty carpet-and residents whom are incontinent all over the place but no budget to pull that carpet up...which should never have been put in the halls in the first place.We are not allowed to open windows due to our "closed hvac system" so the head of maintenance has removed all of the window cranks.Our new DON has no experience in LTC..need I say more? Housekeeping was cut back and now I have a closet full of cleaning supplies in my medroom.Isn't that a hoot?So I just keep on keepin' on-and deal with each problem as best I can and leave all of my frustrations hanging in the branches of the tree I park under evreyday.And here it is-my big day off-it is 2p and I am still in my jammies doing wash.Just do not want to go out and deal with people today---and I am tired....But this is what keeps me going back-when one of my mid stage Alzheimers residents hugs and thanks me for the extra little t.l.c. I gave her and tells me"your mother must be so proud of you" or another lonely and confused soul grabs and hugs me and say"O thank you honey -I love you-I just didn't know what to do" when all I have done is lead her to the dining room to a seat and given her a drink.I am so glad I can work everyday.Both of my parents died relatively young and I pray every day for the strength and patience to treat everyone on my unit as I would want my own to be treated.And I pray for us all whom are struggling in this field..the nurses in L&D whom deliver still born babies ,the nurse debriding the burn pt,the nurse holding the hand of the young man whom is hearing a terminal diagnosis.
  12. by   nursejanedough
    Keep on, ktwlpn. You are the real nurse. God bless you.
  13. by   Eileen850
    Is there a nursing shortage? There certainly is! I am the DON in a small nursing facility and I routinely work as a charge nurse on all of the shifts when there is a shortage of nurses. I have also been the charge nurse so that the scheduled charge nurse could work as a CNA because we were short on CNA's. I advertise, pay as well as my budget will allow (and then some) and truly show my staff that I appreciate them but I don't know where else to look for competent staff. My core staff is dedicated
    and loyal but they are burning out from all the hours that they do. My administrator is constantly telling me to fill the beds and we argue because I won't do it until we have people to care for them. This is all terribly frustrating and I thank my lucky stars to have the staff that I DO have because they do so much for so many with so little. They are heros in my book!!
  14. by   Hape2baRN
    I use to work in LTC. I loved working with the elderly. Sometimes the staff were the only family they had. I was the DON over a 245 bed facility including 40 Medicare beds. The staffing situation was awful and no light at the end of the tunnel. Nursing home corporations and management wanted a full building and like many of you have argued with the management about not adequate staffing to take care of the patients. The State was to implement staffing requirements to make sure facilities had adequate staffing but did not follow through with their plan because all the facilities would have been out of compliance and fined because all the facilities were understaffed. Nursing homes get a bad rap. I agree there are a few bad apples in the bunch but by far most of the people work in the facilities love working with the elderly and are not there for the money. There are just not enough people to take care of the patients.

    I loved working in the nursing home and I really miss it. I will no longer work in a nursing home due to the liability, no support from State, corporation and upper management, no staff, and burn out.

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