Thinking about LTC

  1. I have only worked Med-surg at a small hospital ( 6mos). I don't think it is for me. I am thinking about LTC. Can anyone tell me what are the day-to-day duties of an RN in LTC? Also what are some questions that I should ask at job interview? My only experience in LTC was during school and then all we did was CNA's job. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   zuchRN
    LULU: I will tell you as much as I can. A lot of facilities are different, but the routine should basically be the same no matter where you go. I will go through a typical first shift day. But first you should ask a few questions:
    1. will you be on a skilled or subacute unit?
    2. Do the nurses float? Or do you stay on the same unit?
    3. What is their actual staffing ratio after call-ins are accounted for?
    4. Is there on-call time?
    5. Ask to meet the Director of nursing.
    6. Tour the building (maybe on off hours before an interview). This will give you a good idea of the actual staffing and general attitude of the staff. Also, you will be able to tell if the resdients are actually cared for.
    7. Ask about in-house acquired wounds as well as weight loss. This can tell you alot about the facility. A high ratio of in- house acquired wounds usually indicates a lack of turning or caring or staffing. Sometimes it is just what it is though. It can be just that there are a lot of very ill end-stage residents.
    You can expect 2 med passes on day shift. Usually a heavy one at 8am or 9am. This will generally consume a 2-hour time period. Your med pass then at noon or 1pm should take 1/2 hour to 1-hour. You will have treatments to complete and this varies facility to facility. Then you also have required assessments and documentation that can seem daunting. You will have doctors calls and families talking with you-sometimes at length.
    On top of all of this you will have various meetings that you may be required to attend. And most of all, you have nursing assistants that you must supervise and assure they are doing their jobs.
    This is just a rough listing and does not include everything. It may seem overwhelming, but once you get a routine and you learn the residents, it will become second nature.
    I am sure that you will hear a lot of negative things about long term care, but please realize that it is very rewarding. I enjoy it with all of my heart and have been at it for 10. There are days when I wonder why, but I think that you have that with any job. I would never give it up for anything. This is where I started and where I will end. It is worth it!!!!!!!!!!!! We need good hearted and committed nurses in long term care. I hope that you do try it and learn to love it!!!!!!!!!
  4. by   Lulu_camel
    I can't thank you enough! I wouldn't have known where to start on asking the questions. I really want to try LTC. Thanks again.
  5. by   Disablednurse
    I worked in LTC for almost 20 years and loved it. Would still be doing it if not for my intractable back pain and disability r/t my back. ZuchRN covered the job duties pretty well. Just realize that this job is one you will really love or really hate. There is rarely middle ground on this. It is a very rewarding job, but a very hard one.
  6. by   oceanblue
    I have worked in long term care for over 10 years, I love it! I've worked hospital, doctor's office, & home health, I have to say that I enjoy LTC the most. I'm an L.P.N., Currently, I'm the assesment coordinator but before getting this position, I worked the floor for many years, I have to agree.... It sounds overwhelming at first, but once you get to know your residents, you'll be fine. LTC is also nice because there is not a huge change over, so you also make lasting friendships with the residents and their families. I still keep in touch with many people whose loved ones passed away in our care center. I think LTC is very rewarding! GOOD LUCK!
  7. by   Lulu_camel
    Thank you all. One more question. Do you do any blood drawing for lab tests?
  8. by   zuchRN
    we have regularly scheduled lab days. We try to schedule labs on these days...but sometimes it doesn't work out. Sometimes we do have to do venipuncture or the lab charges a fee for coming out extra.
  9. by   aimeee
    Most facilities have a lab come and draw for them, but there are some times when you may need a stat draw done and have to do it yourself.

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