Will I ever get out of LTC or am I doomed? - page 4

I am a newer grad. Graduated last summer. Only job that even gave me a chance is LTC/sub-acute rehab. I hate it. I want a hospital job, desperately. Even a clinic, anything but this kind of nursing.... Read More

  1. by   hotflashion
    If a facility is run for profit, then they are making a profit, regardless who is paying the bill, or they would not be in business. It's my opinion that there is a serious, inherent, conflict of interest when healthcare is provided by a for-profit enterprise. The bean counters should be watching out for costs but the focus should be on care, not cost. In a for profit structure, the focus is on cost.

    I work in assisted living and while my working conditions are not as bad as the OPs, we are staffed to a minimal level, such that any call out is a catastrophe. People get fed up and don't stay long, so every other employee is a new employee. We cannot give the residents the care they deserve and for which they pay. There is no time for thoughtfulness, it's just do it as fast as you can and hope you do not make a serious mistake. The working conditions stink. I looked up the book mentioned by one of the writiers (Reality Shock: Why Nurses Leave Nursing) and it's not available, not even at the library. Sounds like a good read.

    To the OP, just keep looking for a better job. Perhaps you can find a job in a hospital transitional care unit, and from there move into the hospital proper. Perhaps you have surgical centers in your area? Perhaps a job at a rehab hospital. Or, a specialty hospital? What about a specialty area, e.g., wound care?

    Good luck, and never become complacent about the working environment you find yourself in.
  2. by   CapeCodMermaid
    It's the business. If you think the hospital is any better go read the post that compares hospital nursing to slavery.
  3. by   dtroia22
    Quote from laderalis
    Not all LTC centers are equal. I love my job. I love my residents. Yes it is stressful at times. Yes families drive me crazy sometimes. Yes med pass gets mundane at times. Yes the paperwork sucks. But those same problems exist in a hospital setting. Instead of passing the same meds to a greater number of people, you will possibly see the same type of patient over and over again. Instead of state inspectors breathing down our necks, it will be the Joint Commission.
    I believe attitude is everything. I love that I can see the sunshine out the window at work, and open the window for some fresh air. I love that I can take residents outside and enjoy the sunshine (weather permitting, I DO live in northern MI. lol) I like seeing some of the same people all the time. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind if some of my patients moved to a different part of the building! I love that its more of a home environment and not so sterile.
    I live for, and cherish, the shifts were I get everything done on time, can help my CNA's out, document everything that I should and have a chance to spend more time with my residents; more than just "here are your dinnertime meds." Mostly the good shifts outweigh the bad shifts. I think we tend to remember the bad ones.
    Maybe LTC really is not for you, and that's fine. I just hate that it gets such a bad rap constantly and hospitals are made out to look like heaven. The grass may not always be greener.
    I am so glad someone thinks like I do! I graduated a year ago and wanted to work in the hospital, or so I thought. Got a job at a LTC center to "get some experience first" and have not, and do not intend on leaving! I love my residents and their families! They have become sort of an extended family! My kids love to go visit my residents on my days off and as much as I like days off, I miss my residents when I'm not there! Not all people are cut out for LTC. Of course there are the difficult residents (i still strongly believe its all in how you approach them, talk to them, and your attitude) and the annoying family members (who can be your greatest advocates if you keep them informed), but overall, I can't picture myself anywhere other than LTC! My mom tells me all the time this is what I was meant to do because since I was very young I have always loved the elderly. If LTC is not for you, please, for you, and most importantly, the residents, find something else! Your residents can sense your attitude, stress, and frustration, even when you think you hide it well, and this greatly affects their moods, behaviors, and mental well-being! Not all LTCs are like the nightmares and horror stories you hear about!
  4. by   hotflashion
    The OP would rather work in a hospital; or she thinks she would. As a new grad, I too, thought I would rather work in a hospital. I was certainly educated to think of hospital nursing as the goal. The unfortunate part of this story, from my perspective, is that the OP may never find out that LTC nursing can be rewarding because she's having such a bad first experience.

    It may not be possible for the OP to find another job. Nursing jobs for new grads are very scarce in the 50 mile radius I call home and from which I will not be moving. Appalling working conditions seem to be the norm for nursing. I hope the OP learns from her experience such that she makes improving working conditions a lifetime career goal.

    Do your best, treat the new nurses you work with the way you wished to have been treated, and never become complacent about actual working conditions.
  5. by   JZ_RN
    I am not saying the hospital job is what I want, I really just would like to do something where I can care for patients in a SAFE manner. That is all.
  6. by   litbitblack
    Rather than feel like you are doomed look for oppurtunities to obtain the experience you are looking for in an acute care facility. Nursing is nursing and you WILL find those same type of patients where ever you go. Maybe try applying for some type of prn job at your local hospital. See if they have an internship you could participate in. You certainly do not need to stay where you are not happy.
  7. by   JZ_RN
    lilbitblack- I appreciate the honest and non-rude response. I actually have just resigned from my LTC job since I got a clinic position. I could not take the unsafe staff-patient and nurse-patient ratios, lack of supplies, unhelpful and abusive management, rude MDs who couldn't care less, senseless rules, and felt that safe patient care was more important. I am so excited to leave a care area where patients are not being given the care that they could be receiving because of budgets and lack of staff and supplies. We were overworked and treated with disrespect and no one deserves that. I hope that place improves for the safety of the patients and the sanity of the nurses who are stuck there still. But I was not going to risk my health, well-being, mental state, license, and livelihood to continue working there.
  8. by   MySonIsAdorable
    I hear this a lot from my friends who work in LTC, I personally feel like if that's where I end up while I continue my education then I will take it and smile...because regardless of where you go outside of pediatrics you will be dealing with geri patients... I hate to say it but I agree I wouldn't want a nurse thinking about my Grandmother like that.

    Maybe you just have too much to handle, sounds like you are overwhelmed and need to find a job where you will have less patients, have you tried looking at smaller nursing homes in your area? If you really want to be in a hospital then keep trying, keep learning, know what you are talking about. A mentor told me a few days ago actually that "if you end up in a nursing home then keep up to date with whats going on in the hospitals" continue to learn outside of what is going on with your patients you see everyday...Good luck.
  9. by   JZ_RN
    These people become upset when their elderly parent or grandparent declines as is what happens with age. They hardly visit. Some of the people with the worst behaviors are because they don't want to be there. They could live at home if they had a caregiver but their families dumped them there. They don't get the meds they need cause their families won't pay for them. They're upset. I don't have anything against the residents. I just had too many to deal with and not enough help. Which is why I left LTC and got a different job.
  10. by   Vernie08
    I understand your frustration 100%. I see in your newer posts that you found a new area of nursing. Big congratulations!!! I just want to say there is nothing wrong with being frustrated with risking your license by cotinuing to work in unsafe conditions. My facilty is worst and to top it off, they are so puzzled about why the new staff won't stay. It is just, just,.....omg i have no words to describe it. They don't even make it through their "2" days of orientation. Yes, 2!! And another thing, it drives me absolutely crazy when everyone wants to accuse you of "hating the elderly" when you just can't take working in these conditions. I work in a nursing home and a lot of my pts are not elderly. I just can't take much more of unanswered dr calls, no supplies, 36 pts to one nurse, no meds and my list can go on and on. But anyways, congratulations again. I'm sure i'll be accused of disrespecting the elderly now with this comment lol. Good luck
  11. by   kate0x
    could not agree with you more egglady.
  12. by   KRSLPN
    The point that always baffles me is this, WHY exactly do some nurses feel that a job in LTC is like a fate worse then death? And WHY do some nurses feel that to be a "real nurse" they have to work in a hospital?
  13. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Because they don't know any better.
    I've spent most of my career (30+ years) working in long term care. I graduated at the top of my class...I worked at the hospital because that's what we were supposed to do. I didn't like the politics or the way the elderly population was treated. The clinicians for the most part didn't understand that gerontology is a specialty. They never took time to find out why a 94 year old woman was confused...they gave out Haldol. Now the drug of choice for the hospitals seems to be Seroquel.
    Is it about saving lives? I've saved more people than I can count. Is it about making someone's life better? Again, my staff and I allow all our residents to make the most of their lives whether they are with us for rehabbing a new knee, pneumonia, or for ever.
    I say again walk a mile in my shoes.

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