The Elderly Are Devalued - page 2

During the many years that I have spent browsing these forums, I have noticed a common theme regarding the preconceived notions that many people in healthcare have expressed about long term care... Read More

  1. by   bubblejet50
    I worked in LTC for a year when I had my LPN license. I was out the door as soon as I got my RN license for the pure fact that it was so hardcore at my facility. There were management issues also but that facility should have been shut down anyway. I respect ltc nurses but realized it was not for me. I took away skills in time management, prioritizing, and assessment. In clinical at school at the hospital I took 4 patients. In ltc I had 30 residents and 2 cna's. Chest pain was a daily complaint. It was hectic and I think that the elderly are not getting as good of treatment as they deserve. With hospitals having such a quick turnover rate in regards to patients the ltc facilities are accepting more acute and unstable patients also.
  2. by   ExPharmaGirl
    I am a new grad. I don't have a job yet. I don't mind working with the elderly, in fact most of my patients in my hospital rotations were elderly. My reason for not wanting to work in LTC is my experiences with LTC rotations in nursing school. The staff: patient ratios were ridiculous, supplies were short, and there was no organization whatsoever. It was pure chaos. I like a fast-paced high demand environment, but this was different. Definitely not for me. I don't think I would be able to provide quality care to my patients in that kind of environment.
  3. by   whichone'spink
    If LTC was a decent environment to work in, then more people perhaps would work in LTC. If the standard is 5 days of orientation, being asked constantly to sign up for overtime or to stay for a double shift, gloves being reused because of the low supply level, and State pays a visit every 6 months, then no wonder LTC is not a desirable place to work.
  4. by   ccjacobs33
    The best part of working LTC was the residents. I really enjoyed the interactions and feeling like I knew more about them. However, the work load was very stressful. and impossible at times. A team of 25 residents with numerous chronic conditions that could become unstable at any time was the norm. Some days I felt like I had so many patients that I was trying to pull back from the brink of becoming unstable that I felt like I was working telemetry without the benefit of monitoring equipment. This facility did not have computerized documentation and I know this is not unusual. However, the amount of double and triple documentation was unrealistic. We had to do monthly summary of each resident where we checked for presence of and summarized documenation of all disciplines. Like I said the residents were the most rewarding part of it. To be fair, I had other stressors in my life while working there but I ended up resigning because for health reasons.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    I am a nurse by vocation, but a geriatric nurse by choice. :heartbeat
  6. by   itsmejuli
    Great articale, thank you.

    I'd love to see more volunteers come into our facilities to visit our residents, so many of them are so very lonely.

    Don't even get me going on the lack of LTC and dementia beds where I live.
  7. by   jgr1001nurse
    I interviewed at a LTC facility. The first nursing job I interviewed for. LPN, fresh out of school and passing NCLEX. I was told I would be responsible for two halls, each hall having 30 residents each. Brand new LPN going to have 60 residents. Scared me to death. I absolutely love elderly people, but I don't think I am enough nurse to provide what they need. The job was offered to me - I declined. I accepted a job in a prison and feel much less intimidated than I did by the prospect of the LTC job.
  8. by   kcmylorn
    I'm not at all suprised. Given the devalued attitude of this country in general has toward the 50 and over group, why would the true frail elderly in LTC be treated any differently. "Don't employ them, they don't deserve the medicare they paid into for years and years. They'll get respect when I get respect from them first!" It's a reflection of the moral standard now a days.

    There will be no increase in the respect for the elderly even with the baby boomers aging.
  9. by   redhead_NURSE98!
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Some also think that LTC nurses deal with less stress and lack the assessment and procedural skills that all 'hospital nurses' have.


    No way in Hades do I think this.
  10. by   mariebailey
    I enjoyed the article and agree with you 100%. To add to the conversation, our cultural views (Western, particularly American) on aging clearly have a strong influence on our views on aging and how we treat the elderly population in our society. It never occurred to me that caregivers of elderly may be stigmatized as well. Some Asian countries, like China & Japan, revere their elderly...we could learn from them. Maybe Baby Boomers can bring an end to Ageism as they grow older; after all, they do account for >25% of the US population; the rest of us will have to listen!
  11. by   kabfighter
    Having worked on two med-surg floors, it seems that the demographics are similar to those of long-term care facilities. I really enjoy working with elderly people, but I don't think I'd ever want to work LTC because I wouldn't have the resources to take care of them adequately. On a med-surg floor, I'm guaranteed (at the very least) a somewhat manageable patient load. I did a few clinical rotations in school at a nursing/rehab center that had won several accolades, and even there staffing was terrible. I've heard stories from other nurses about 25:1 nurse-to-patient ratios with one aide. There are no bones about it...there is not a single person on the planet who could take those odds and succeed at providing safe, adequate, compassionate care. I wish that nursing homes were better for nurses and residents. Perhaps my my opinion is wrong; please correct me if it is.
  12. by   msfini
    This is my first post here.

    I am new to the profession and this is a career change for me in my early 40's. I decided to start with care giving and I went to CNA school and I am now waiting to test in Nevada. I am currently a pre-nursing student and working in LTC. I am so happy I did this. So far, it has been a wonderful experience. I am learning basic hands on skills but most importantly how to communicate and interact on so many levels from working daily with residents, co-workers, and family members.

    I look forward to going to work every day and making a difference in our resident's quality of life, if only for that moment that I am with them. I have found it important to put blinders on with regards to negative attitudes and "drama" situations that are beyond my control and there many of them. Being new at my job, I have already learned to stand my ground, ask questions if I don't know, document everything, and follow protocol, and oh my gosh never gossip or reveal anything personal (no need to fuel the simple minded)!

    For me, if I can get someone out of bed, dressed and excited to shower, eat in the dining room, take a walk or play bingo it is a day well spent. To me, this is fundamental hands-on care that provides dignity and self esteem to the elderly. Regardless of who is doing it or the reasons why, it is a growing necessity in society and can offer many rewards.

    I think the things that I am learning now will always benefit me as I progress in my path to becoming a well rounded an RN.
  13. by   mom_coach_nurse
    I'm a double whammy in terms of perception. I want to "only be" an LPN & I want to work LTC. When I get asked why or can I handle that, I ask them to think about if it were their family member in there (as mine was) & who they want caring for their family member. Someone who truly respects the elderly or someone who they think shouldn't "waste their time getting a LPN license, and being stuck in LTC" or me?
    Last edit by mom_coach_nurse on Aug 14, '12 : Reason: Spelling