What keeps you motivated? - page 2

I've been an lpn in geriatric ltc for almost 5 years now. I think I've about seen it all. I'm looking for some encouragement... What do you do to stay focused and motivated? How do you... Read More

  1. by   joprasklpn
    Quote from ingelein
    As an LPN , at least in my part of the country , you are pretty limited to LTC, especially if you are a single mom and need the higher pay that LTC pays. Hospitals and clinics in my area pay very poorly , even to LPNs with many years experience. I think its a mistake to try to dismiss a legitimite problem in LTC by saying LTC is merely "tuff", yes INDEED its tuff, but even more so its in need of MAJOR REFORMS, for both the nurse and the patient and to minimize the dire situation in LTC is a disservice to the ones we care for, the patient AND the nurse.If nurses would have been willing to work in "tuff" situations without the desire to improve them, there would have been no patient/ nurse ratio, no whistleblower retaliation laws, etc. LTC NEEDS nurses who ARE willing to do the HARD work to make a very NESSESARY CHANGE. There are actually those nurses out there that are willing to stay in LTC, and "tuff" it out in in the HOPE that change is coming. Almost 30 years in LTC has taught me many lessons, some good, some bad.

    What have you personally done to improve your LTC facility? Showing up for work and pasting on a fake smile while wishing you could quit won't help anything. I personally make more in peds homecare, but if I had to go back to LTC right now I could, and with a better attitude than some nurses. All jobs nursing or not have pitfalls. Still you are not forced to stay in LTC. If your only staying to "tuff it out" please do the residents a favor and move on.
    Last edit by joprasklpn on Nov 16, '07
  2. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from joprasklpn
    What have you personally done to improve your LTC facility? Showing up for work and pasting on a fake smile while wishing you could quit won't help anything. I personally make more in peds homecare, but if I had to go back to LTC right now I could, and with a better attitude than some nurses. All jobs nursing or not have pitfalls. Still you are not forced to stay in LTC. If your only staying to "tuff it out" please do the residents a favor and move on.
    I agree that going to work with a fake smile and a crying heart will make no one a better nurse. I have given MUCH personally to do my own part in improving LTC. As for my fellow nurses and the patients , running from the problem will only help for a short while, what happens when there is no place left to run to?I chose to stand up and fight for what I believed in , I paid a price for it, but maybe it will cause at least some wrongs to be righted in LTC, in WI anyway. Nurses would find much help and understanding in Nursing Home Reform Advocacy Groups nationwide. I found my lawyers through such a group and these lawyers have been fighting along with me for over two years. MAYBE my own case can set precedent and nurses who follow will have better laws to protect them when they do as the Nurse Practice Act requires of them. The residents will be the winners as well as the nurse when nurses feel protected enough to report illegal/ unethical practices that are so common in LTC.
  3. by   joprasklpn
    Well it sounds like you are caring and have the residents best interest in mind. Many nurse have that I don't care attitude and it does no one any good. After awhile one rotten apple brings everyone down. I think it really contibutes to the problems when people forget to work as a team and after awhile only a few care about the job anymore and sometimes it only takes one bad attitude to sway everyone else. I don't think PA LTC facilities are as bad as yours must be, or maybe I have been lucky and not worked in the really bad ones. (just busy ones and that is managable) Well good luck with your crusade and no hard feelings.
  4. by   SuesquatchRN
    joprasklpn, you are ignoring the reality of nursing today. There are reasons that nurses are leaving in droves, that young people aren't coming in to replace those leaving, and it's not all, or even mostly, about learning to find something to love in ones job.

    You know this. When the self-righteousness and judgmental attitudes are served up please pass on taking a helping.
  5. by   CoffeeRTC
    Hmmm...Good question from the OP. I think I stay motivated by the fact that I only work part time. When I worked full time, I was heading for burnout. Knowing that when I go in on the weekeds, the residents are truely happy to see me and I do make a difference.
    If you don't want to out the nurse directly, you can do the annon reporting to your DON, but don't expect much but then again, it could get the ball rolling.

    We do have some really bad LTC in my area of PA, but then we have great places to work too.
    Anyway you could do agency work? Sometimes the flexability and change keeps you fresh and the pay is better.
  6. by   noc4senuf
    Just because one person posting states that there is bad LTC facilities in WI does not mean that all WI facilities are bad. I have been in some wonderful homes that had great nurses and CNA's working there. They came to work and truly cared about the residents they worked with. I still have contacts in those facilities that have been there for 20+ years and yes, they feel the nursing shortage but, none would leave their jobs for another facility.

    I am burnt out now in my current facility but, it is solely because of the residents I work with that I haven't left at this point. I have some wonderful dedicated staff that are overworked and then those that are there for only the paycheck. One thing I do see in the facilities I have worked in is that hugs are free to residents and other staff. It does anyone a lot of moral boosting to give and receive hugs often.
  7. by   joprasklpn
    Quote from Suesquatch
    joprasklpn, you are ignoring the reality of nursing today. There are reasons that nurses are leaving in droves, that young people aren't coming in to replace those leaving, and it's not all, or even mostly, about learning to find something to love in ones job.

    You know this. When the self-righteousness and judgmental attitudes are served up please pass on taking a helping.

    Do you think other people in other fields are 100% happy with every aspect of the job they have? I would think they are not because I know plenty of people from all walks of life and they all have something they do not like about work. (but at least they work) Money is not the only motivation a nurse should have and A LOT of nurses simply got to school because they want higher incomes. Yes lots of things in nursing need changed, but the piss poor attitude that most nurses have will not change any thing, but thanks for your post anyone. Everyone is going to disagree from time to time, but you are not going to sour my attitude.
  8. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from noc4senuf
    Just because one person posting states that there is bad LTC facilities in WI does not mean that all WI facilities are bad. I have been in some wonderful homes that had great nurses and CNA's working there. They came to work and truly cared about the residents they worked with. I still have contacts in those facilities that have been there for 20+ years and yes, they feel the nursing shortage but, none would leave their jobs for another facility.

    I am burnt out now in my current facility but, it is solely because of the residents I work with that I haven't left at this point. I have some wonderful dedicated staff that are overworked and then those that are there for only the paycheck. One thing I do see in the facilities I have worked in is that hugs are free to residents and other staff. It does anyone a lot of moral boosting to give and receive hugs often.
    I have not said that all nursing homes are EQUALLY bad. As in life everything comes in degrees. BUT ALL nursing homes have one MAJOR problem in common, that is understaffing due to nurse/patient ratios skewed in the favor of the nursing home corporation or owner. WHY? GREED. Also pervasive in ALL nursing homes that are not unionized is a lack of personal job security for the reporting nurse, we STILL owe our allegiance to the best welfare of the resident and we are mandated to follow the Nurse Practice Act. Those two things CANNOT be done without state and federal protections, again, even the BEST of nursing homes has MONEY as their bottom line, yes even non profits. CEO's and administrators on down are given big bonuses for cost cutting, guess who is first in line to be affected in cost cutting, YOU. Next comes the poor resident who suffers as a result of the poor working conditions. One last thought, has anyone ever thought that the nursing home owners have benefitted by the "nursing shortage", they now can have one nurse do the work that two nurses used to. Could there be a nursing shortage in part because nurses did leave in droves as Suesqatch pointed out? What if there were managable work loads and personal protections from unscrupulous owners ? I venture to gain that nurses may just come back into the workplace.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Nov 18, '07
  9. by   joprasklpn
    In my area waiting list are common before even getting in to schools, so more schools are needed. Yes maybe making people talk with nurses before they go to school would deter some from going and then not being happy, but I have a feeling they would still go to school. I personally do not know of any nurses who left nursing, but some that changed fields. Last I heard the shortage of nursing educators and school waiting lists were big contibutors to nursing shortages. I agree that someone is getting rich off the nurses.(This is in all fields.) More of us should try self employment, but that too has some major pitfalls.
  10. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from joprasklpn
    Well good luck with your crusade and no hard feelings.
    Thanks, I hope my "crusade" will help you personally one day in your career in nursing, especially if you ever go back to LTC.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Dec 7, '07
  11. by   AMOEBA
    Knowing that you're doing some good in the world...........and paying the bills!
  12. by   LibAnne10
    This is the first time that I have posted, but I feel compelled after reading this thread. I am a DON in LTC. I started out as a part time charge nurse at my facility almost 13 years ago. On many occasions it was me and one CNA for 20 residents, but we worked together to give the best care we could. After years of many complaints from residents and their family members, more staff was hired each year.
    I have been the DON for over 5 years. During these 5 years we have worked to train our staff, created a CNA mentor program, trained the charge nurses in coaching supervision and were first in the state to receive a special licensure. Every survey we've had has been deficiency free. Last year our CNA turnover was 10 percent. The only time we lose a nurse is if they retire or sadly pass away. We do not pay as much as some of the facilities in this area, but our staff feel valued and appreciated for what they do. We do not have to advertise for nurses or CNAs. I have stacks of applications and not enough openings. All of them are from our current staff telling their friends about their great workplace! The changes that we have made did not happen over night, but they did happen!
    Ours is a non profit facility and from what I've seen profit is the only factor keeping others from doing the work it takes and our government officials are the ones that make that change.
    Last edit by LibAnne10 on Dec 10, '07
  13. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from LibAnne10
    This is the first time that I have posted, but I feel compelled after reading this thread. I am a DON in LTC. I started out as a part time charge nurse at my facility almost 13 years ago. On many occasions it was me and one CNA for 20 residents, but we worked together to give the best care we could. After years of many complaints from residents and their family members, more staff was hired each year.
    I have been the DON for over 5 years. During these 5 years we have worked to train our staff, created a CNA mentor program, trained the charge nurses in coaching supervision and were first in the state to receive a special licensure called NCNOVA. Every survey we've had has been deficiency free. Last year our CNA turnover was 10 percent. The only time we lose a nurse is if they retire or sadly pass away. We do not pay as much as some of the facilities in this area, but our staff feel valued and appreciated for what they do. We do not have to advertise for nurses or CNAs. I have stacks of applications and not enough openings. All of them are from our current staff telling their friends about their great workplace! The changes that we have made did not happen over night, but they did happen!
    Ours is a non profit facility and from what I've seen profit is the only factor keeping others from doing the work it takes and our government officials are the ones that make that change.
    Wow, very impressive. Do you know of any other LTC in the country that compares with yours? Just curious.

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