VA experiences - page 2

I'm an LPN and I start my new job with the VA in November. I was wondering what experiences people have had with the VA. I'm a 10 year veteran and know a little about issues pertaining to veterans.... Read More

  1. by   navynurse06
    I loved my VA job! I worked at the VA in Johnson City, Tn in the ICU/PCU. I worked there while I was in nursing school as a tech. I loved the pt population, charting system, and the med system. I wish the Navy had that charting system.
    And when I get out of the navy I plan on going back there to work.
  2. by   traumaRUs
    I worked at the VAMC in Indianapolis for 2 years and loved it! I am a US Navy vet and felt that we provided excellent care. I worked in an MICU/CCU.

    Now...I am also a veteran and my husband is a military retiree. As to the care that we receive via the VA - nope, none, nada. We currently live near Peoria, IL and currently the VA isn't enrolling those that make what we make unless there is some kind of service-connected disability.

    This is fine with us because we both carry medical insurance and we use Tricare (the military insurance) as a back-up.

    Hopefully, the VA will be there for us when we get older.
  3. by   Indynurse5618
    Hi everyone. I am an LPN specializing in restorative care. It is my personal opinion that since Federal and State law mandate that LTC facilities provide all necessary measures for each patient to ATTAIN or MAINTAIN their highest level of functioning possible, many, many people should be in structured restorative nursing programs. I have talked to several people in the VA long-term care arena, and this seems to be totally overlooked in the LTC facilities for our Veterans. Does anyone have any insight into VA long-term care facilities and whether or not this is being done??? I am considering a job in a VA LTC facility, but restorative nursing is really my thing and I would like to get it going there.
  4. by   mamasnurse
    Hi exnavygirl,
    I had 6 yrs of Navy time and when I was still in nsg school I contacted the VA recruiter in Nashville, TN. I felt compelled to work there for my veteran sisters and brothers. Daytonite was right on for administrative info. The only thing I can add is:
    1. You must as an RN work 80 hrs/2 wks--no 24, 32 or 36 hr option
    2. On Med-Surg floors, team nsg is required which means each team of 1 RN, 1 LPN and 1 tech (in days--never any at nite when I worked) provides care for 1/3rd and often 1/2 of the ward of 36 pts. Now Math was not my strong point, but 1 RN to 12 and 18 pts was overkill, no pun intended.
    3. Within these 12-18 pts, usually 2-3 transplant pts, 2-3 on tele and 2-3 on PCA pumps.
    4. As a new RN we got 6-10 wks of orientation, but when that was over--the RN is THE RESPONSIBLE person for: admissions/discharges to the ward, assessments, treatments, vital signs (no tech) and ambulation assists or bed pans and brief changes. With no techs, the LPNs were usually the "teammate" to pass meds--since they cannot assess, IV push or call Dr for orders. Meds to 12-18 pts can be difficult and time-consuming so any help the RN received, would be greatly appreciated. But if they found a way to stay busy.... the RN is "the responsible party".
    5. If an RN, esp a NEW RN were to try to call attention to any teammate not carrying their load, blackball city... and the heat is on. A write-up or complaint and the RN is guilty until proven innocent.
    Needless to say, before I could complete 6 months for the experience I had to resign. I am in a much better place, but it is horrible when I think of our veterans being neglected due to the shortage of caring staff. Most all of these nurses are NOT veterans or perhaps the "team nursing" could actually work.
    Good luck and the thing that helped me keep my sanity is the sweet smiles and warm hands that I held when the veterans needed me.
  5. by   Jules A
    Quote from mamasnurse
    1. You must as an RN work 80 hrs/2 wks--no 24, 32 or 36 hr option
    This is a very helpful thread, thank you. I was wondering if the 80 hrs/2 wks is standard. I'm really interested in doing 12s hopefully 24 or 36/wk. Thanks, Jules
  6. by   exnavygirl-RN
    Thanks for the reply. I'm sorry it has taken so long to respond. I start work November 13.

    Christy


    Quote from mamasnurse
    Hi exnavygirl,
    I had 6 yrs of Navy time and when I was still in nsg school I contacted the VA recruiter in Nashville, TN. I felt compelled to work there for my veteran sisters and brothers. Daytonite was right on for administrative info. The only thing I can add is:
    1. You must as an RN work 80 hrs/2 wks--no 24, 32 or 36 hr option
    2. On Med-Surg floors, team nsg is required which means each team of 1 RN, 1 LPN and 1 tech (in days--never any at nite when I worked) provides care for 1/3rd and often 1/2 of the ward of 36 pts. Now Math was not my strong point, but 1 RN to 12 and 18 pts was overkill, no pun intended.
    3. Within these 12-18 pts, usually 2-3 transplant pts, 2-3 on tele and 2-3 on PCA pumps.
    4. As a new RN we got 6-10 wks of orientation, but when that was over--the RN is THE RESPONSIBLE person for: admissions/discharges to the ward, assessments, treatments, vital signs (no tech) and ambulation assists or bed pans and brief changes. With no techs, the LPNs were usually the "teammate" to pass meds--since they cannot assess, IV push or call Dr for orders. Meds to 12-18 pts can be difficult and time-consuming so any help the RN received, would be greatly appreciated. But if they found a way to stay busy.... the RN is "the responsible party".
    5. If an RN, esp a NEW RN were to try to call attention to any teammate not carrying their load, blackball city... and the heat is on. A write-up or complaint and the RN is guilty until proven innocent.
    Needless to say, before I could complete 6 months for the experience I had to resign. I am in a much better place, but it is horrible when I think of our veterans being neglected due to the shortage of caring staff. Most all of these nurses are NOT veterans or perhaps the "team nursing" could actually work.
    Good luck and the thing that helped me keep my sanity is the sweet smiles and warm hands that I held when the veterans needed me.
  7. by   oignurse
    Has anyone in the Tennessee/Kentucky/Indiana area heard anything about a new VA hospital that will be located at what will be the old Gateway Medical Center in Clarksvillle, Tennessee? Gateway is building a new hospital and I have been told VA has plans to move in. I will be retiring from my job in less than 2 years and am interested in VA nursing. Any information about this possible new facility?
  8. by   RebeccaJeanRN
    I work in a VA ICU. One of the tough things is that it seems that virtually EVERY patient has drug/alcohol/smoking history so its all failed livers, kidneys, COPD. The shocking thing for me personally was the young age of our dying patients. These men are dying from their lifestyle choices in their mid 50's. So sad. (Oh, and morbid obesity is another one. At any given time we have at least a couple of 400-500 pound ICU patients)

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