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 (LTC) and the elderly population... Read More

  1. 8
    Those that devalue the elderly are not old and frail yet. I have been a LTC LPN for a year now and while I'm still new, I can't for the life of me understand how it's perceived as being less stressful in LTC when we have a higher patient load than any other specialty. I did a preceptorship at a rehab unit in a hospital and it's not much different at the LTC rehab end where I work (except my preceptor had 7 patients and I have 25 - 28 residents). Medicare cuts are stretching us thinner and thinner and piling more documentation on while my employer aspires to please its shareholders. Sink over a million into a big remodel to make it look pretty, then make us deal with not enough towels, linens, chux and other supplies (not to mention lower-quality food for the residents), short-staffed constantly and have the balls to make us come to mandatory meetings to complain about what's not being done. The residents are the ones that suffer. Things would be vastly different if the elderly were able to oversee their own care.
    june42, LTCangel, aknottedyarn, and 5 others like this.

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  2. 2
    FORTHELOVEOF LTC needs nurses like you!!!!
    Last edit by sherdk on Aug 14, '12 : Reason: add name
    TheCommuter and FORTHELOVEOF!!!! like this.
  3. 3
    Quote from walkingon
    Those that devalue the elderly are not old and frail yet. I have been a LTC LPN for a year now and while I'm still new, I can't for the life of me understand how it's perceived as being less stressful in LTC when we have a higher patient load than any other specialty. I did a preceptorship at a rehab unit in a hospital and it's not much different at the LTC rehab end where I work (except my preceptor had 7 patients and I have 25 - 28 residents). Medicare cuts are stretching us thinner and thinner and piling more documentation on while my employer aspires to please its shareholders. Sink over a million into a big remodel to make it look pretty, then make us deal with not enough towels, linens, chux and other supplies (not to mention lower-quality food for the residents), short-staffed constantly and have the balls to make us come to mandatory meetings to complain about what's not being done. The residents are the ones that suffer. Things would be vastly different if the elderly were able to oversee their own care.
    Wow, sounds like where I work. When I first started, the daily shower list was based on how many towels were available. We have ran out of gloves many times. We rarely have wipes. Sometimes there aren't enough chux to go around. We've had some meals before that I was ashamed to have family members see (we have a lot of family members who come and eat with their relatives)

    We also have a VERY nice LOOKING facility. Looks very fancy and upscale but it's all for show. We also have mandatory staff meetings 2x a month so they can complain about the employees.

    Gee, do we work at the same place?
    LTCangel, IowaKaren, and TheCommuter like this.
  4. 5
    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.
    LTCangel, JZ_RN, IowaKaren, and 2 others like this.
  5. 3
    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.
  6. 5
    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.
    not.done.yet, amoLucia, sunnybabe, and 2 others like this.
  7. 2
    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.
    sherdk and TheCommuter like this.
  8. 8
    I am a nurse by vocation, but a geriatric nurse by choice. :heartbeat
    LTCangel, aknottedyarn, mmc51264, and 5 others like this.
  9. 4
    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.
    june42, aknottedyarn, sherdk, and 1 other like this.
  10. 4
    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.
    june42, sherdk, itsmejuli, and 1 other like this.


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