I graduated with my RN in may 2012 and received my license in June. I started a job in LTC/SNF in December. I work pool on the 11-7 shift and care for 60 patients a night. Med pass takes me from 4 am until 6. I normally have no time for a break and end up staying at least a half an hour late. I feel bad for the patients because when I do morning med pass, a lot of then want to get up to use the bathroom or be changed and I just dot have time to do it, so all I can do is put the call light on for the cna's, who at that time ate doing their morning rounds so they are usually busy with other patients. Even on a good night, when nothing comes up i feel like there is just too much, with all the Medicare charting, MDS's, the chart checks, treatments, lab and appointment paperwork, making sure the patients who triggered for not having bowel movements get there suppositories in the am, and the med pass being so heavy. The facility is unhappy when you don't take a lunch or you stay past your shift, but they won't give any more staff to relieve the load, even though it has been suggested to them by supervisors. I really like being busy and always having something to do, but there is just too much. Are all LTC facilities like this? I really enjoy the elderly population, but I am not sure that its worth it to continue on there. At this point I am only staying for the experience on my résumé. I want to cry every time I walk out of there. Any advice would be appreciated, I just hate feeling like this and hating going to work, but without experience it's not that easy to just find another job. Is this really worth my sanity?
I am a LPN and graduated in June and began PRN work at a (for profit- never thought that this would make a difference) LTC in September. The last true shift I worked was Christmas Eve where I stayed late to help out as an aide. My orientation was about 10 days total, scattered over a few weeks. Not nearly enough for a new grad, but I'm told this is normal. However, I have two friends from my class who found jobs with significantly longer orientations (7-8 weeks...heaven)- so I'm holding out hope to find work at a facility like that. Although they feel safer, better oriented, and more comfortable with their workplace- they list all of the same stressful things that I did- so I feel like it is the reality of LTC, unfortunately.
And I HAVE cried in front of the DON- so embarrassing. Luckily it was in private in a charting room, but I couldn't stop it, I was talking normally and the tears just fell from the exhaustion/feeling of being overwhelmed/stressed.
While I felt like I should have stayed longer (I'm still technically on the per diem list, but I explained I wanted to focus on finding a different job/volunteering for the time being), I also felt like walking into work feeling like I was about to lose my license wasn't worth it/wasn't good for the residents that I cared so deeply about.
Like you, I really enjoy and love working with the elderly. I was recently offered a part time job working with individuals with developmental disabilities- which is a total change of environment for me, but I'm looking forward to it. I still want to get back into LTC, but I'm doing a lot of research this time looking for a place that is more ''new grad'' friendly. I realize that many LTC's are short staffed, there seems to be never enough time, way too many meds, etc...but I really do love the elderly and I just hope to find a better fit for this stage in my career. Best of luck to you, I'd love to hear what you decide to do!
Last edit by LaLaEm4 on Feb 27, '13
: Reason: more to say