Too soon to feel burnt out of LTC?

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    Recent grad with 6 month LTC experience. Ive really put alot of effort into my day trying to get everything done. For awhile in the very beginning, I would come home and rearrange my day to help me. Well now, Im just feeling like its nearly impossible. Yesterday received a new admit... then another patient fell-neuro check & vs every 1/2 hour.. and of course incident report/contact physician and family... I DID NOT GET TO IT... i did an initial assessment on the pt that fell, then got caught up with my new admit... so of course didnt start med pass until 9pm, and finished about 10:45... 45 minutes left of shift to chart, sign MAR/TAR... I fully expected to walk into a write up today... but the sad thing was in my mind I said "i dont care if they fire me"...i simply couldnt do it all... i asked the CNA to get the VS since I was busy with the admit (who has a alot of medical conditions) , but of course I received a flippant response and it never got done... im tired of coming home every night feeling like i didnt get everything done... im tired of going to work with my stomach in knots... is 30pts tooo much for a new grad? im so confused and feel like putting in my resignation, but then Ill feel like a failure for not sticking it through.... advice is really welcomed.....
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    I am a new grad with no job yet so i have no advice. I just wanted to say dont give up. You will figure how to make it work. You went to school for this and its going to take time to get use to.
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    I worked days in LTC straight out of school and it almost killed me. I felt the same way you sound. I think the biggest thing that I had trouble with was the fact of safety. There just wasnt enough time to do everything, and since I was rushing, I was making mistakes. It was scary and it made me feel like a failure every day. After a month I got moved to the sub acute unit and on nights (the original position I was hired for). That made all the difference. Less patients (about 20), more actual assesment and medical care rather than just mostly pushing pills. I have been doing that for 1.5 years now and actually like my job (most days). You have to be happy where you are at. If this particular facility isnt working for you, find another. Right before I got transfered to the subacute floor I remember going into work with the same feeling "I dont care if they fire me". I really almost quit, and that was only a month in.
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    LTC can be a new grad's worst nightmare. It is hard work and is certainly not for everyone. I've worked in both the hospital and the nursing home setting and let me tell you, there are nurses at the nursing home that could work circles around the nurses at the hospital, and vice versa. You're gonna have bad days, especially as a new nurse, no matter where you work.

    All you can really do no matter the setting is the best you can. 30 pt's seems like a lot, but in a nursing home, they're generally stable. You'll have your hiccups here and there but trust me, it's no easier than having 8 psychotic pt's on obs every 15 mins in the ED, or 5 post-ops on Med/Surg, or 3 ICU, either. They all take a different and unique skill set that you have to adapt to as a nurse. You'll get the hang of it eventually no matter the path you choose.

    Learning to prioritize and maximize efficiency only comes with time and practice. I'll never forget my preceptor in the ED telling my senior quarter nursing instructor "He can do everything, he just can't do it fast...but the only way that is going to come, is with time." She was right. It took a while, but now I am a full-time charge nurse of the skilled wing, as well as 3rd shift supervisor for 4 other units.
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    That does sound discouraging. Where I work, when an admission is expected, they put an extra nurse or med tech on the floor to help for that shift. What happens when you ask your nursing supervisor for support?
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    I work in LTC and yes, it can be stressful and too much. Generally, after some time working with the same patients, things get easier. I am better able to prioritize. Yes, everything is important, but not equally so. On bad nights, (I work 2-10) I do the MOST important things first and if I don't get to everything, well, I've done the best I can. I know that my people are ok and tomorrow will likely be better.

    I've gotten pretty good at getting out on time, but some days there is just no avoiding the overtime. I make sure I communicate with my DON when this happens (it helps that she's awesome) and don't get in trouble. Bad days happen, but so do good days and eventually the good days outnumber the bad. Just this weekend I had an awful day, but the next day at work I found myself thinking "I love my job!" (and yes, I was being serious).

    That being said, LTC is not for everyone (of course that could be said of any specialty in nursing). If LTC is not the right fit, it's okay to find another specialty. 6 months may be too soon to make that determination, but only you can decide that. Good luck!
  9. 0
    The only time it's too soon to feel burned out in LTC is before you're hired.


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