change of working conditions at LTC...

  1. Okay, here's the sitation at my work at a LTC facility. Recently the DON has decided that the LPN's will now pass meds to 55 people for each pass instead of the usual 33 at the breakfast, luch and dinner med passes. The other change is that LPN's will now be floated to differing floors, even those that they have never worked on. There are 156 residents in total so about 50 per floor. THis is all so that more RN's can be hired for 12 hour shifts. I am very worried about the safety of passing meds to people that I don't know. I have only been there four days and have had three days orientation on one floor. They told us to come in on our own time to figure out who the residents are. How many of you guys would work in this environment or are my expectations to high?
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    Passing meds to 55 people is very normal for the graveyard (night) shift.

    However, there's no way I would pass meds to 55 people on day shift or evenings because there's so much going on. If your finances can afford it, I would promptly quit this job and move on to a safer work environment.

    I work at a nursing home and pass meds to only 17 residents. I am able to handle up to 35 residents if I manage my time well. However, 55 patients is absolutely ridiculous.
  4. by   CHATSDALE
    this can be pretty rough

    will you also be doing tx and prns? do yo have pictures of residents in mars?
    make a lot of notes to yourself until you can identify eash resident.
    bottom line if you feel that this would endanger resident or license then look for another job..some decisions you have to make even when they are rough

    good luck
  5. by   maddiesmommy
    Yikes, that does sound scary for you and for the residents. I am not an LPN yet, in fact, I'm just thinking of going to school, but situations like yours really scares me. I wonder why LTC facilities won't hire more LPN's as to make the workload better and also this would help prevent someone getting hurt or worse.
    I'm sorry you are dealing with this.
  6. by   Daytonite
    Sigh-h-h-h! I've worked in and out of LTCs over the years. These ideas come and go in facilities. This particular idea had been done and recently abandoned at the very last LTC I worked at. The DON had instituted it because she wanted everyone to know all the patients and their little quirks. As for passing meds to 55 patients, it's doable, but you have to know the patients and their meds and organize your time really well. It also helps to re-time some of the meds on the MARs to stay in compliance.

    This kind of stuff, as I say, goes on from time to time in places. I would ask you this if you are considering leaving. Are these nice people that you are working with on a daily basis? The reason I ask that is because in my years of experience, the worst jobs were the ones where there was bickering, fighting and bullying going on between the staff and the administration. If everyone is, at least, being civil, is the job really worth leaving? Because crazy ideas tend to swing back the other way when they don't work out. When there is a swinging door and staff starts leaving because of these crazy decisions DONs make, then a place is often not a place you want to work in. It's hard enough for an experienced employee who knows the patients and has worked in the facility for some time to pass meds to 50 or 55 patients. But when you start getting new staff members having to learn to do it the facility starts having major problems with med errors and all kinds of other stuff gets ignored as the nurses have to primarily focus on just getting those meds passed.
  7. by   Jolie
    Quote from linzz
    I am very worried about the safety of passing meds to people that I don't know. I have only been there four days and have had three days orientation on one floor. They told us to come in on our own time to figure out who the residents are. How many of you guys would work in this environment or are my expectations to high?
    Not me!

    I have no experience as an RN or LPN in LTC, so I can't comment on whether passing meds to 55 residents is "do-able", although I tend to think not. But your comment that you have been told to come in on your own to figure out who the residents are is all I really needed to read to form my opinion. This clearly indicates that your employer has NO regard for either you or your residents.

    I'd run the other way.
  8. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from maddiesmommy
    Yikes, that does sound scary for you and for the residents. I am not an LPN yet, in fact, I'm just thinking of going to school, but situations like yours really scares me. I wonder why LTC facilities won't hire more LPN's as to make the workload better and also this would help prevent someone getting hurt or worse.
    I'm sorry you are dealing with this.
    Oh you poor dear, what an eye opening you are in for! MONEY is the bottom line for why LTC's are always short staffed, please stay on this forum and do ALOT of reading before getting into this field of work.
  9. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from Jolie
    Not me!

    I have no experience as an RN or LPN in LTC, so I can't comment on whether passing meds to 55 residents is "do-able", although I tend to think not. But your comment that you have been told to come in on your own to figure out who the residents are is all I really needed to read to form my opinion. This clearly indicates that your employer has NO regard for either you or your residents.

    I'd run the other way.
    I agree and make sure the place you run to isnt worse, it is a TREND in LTC, not just a little experiment they are trying. Why , guess, it starts with a M and ends with a Y.
  10. by   linzz
    Ingelin: I am well aware of the working conditions, however I am from Canada and our homes do get some government funding so not all are run this way. I have previously medicated 40 residents on days and 64 on nights but this was when I saw the residents on a regular basis not once every 2 weeks as I am casual. So please don't be so condescending, I know what the realities are. I also know that I have a licence to keep.
  11. by   Simplepleasures
    Quote from linzz
    Ingelin: I am well aware of the working conditions, however I am from Canada and our homes do get some government funding so not all are run this way. I have previously medicated 40 residents on days and 64 on nights but this was when I saw the residents on a regular basis not once every 2 weeks as I am casual. So please don't be so condescending, I know what the realities are. I also know that I have a licence to keep.
    Dear Linzz from Canada,I am terribly sorry if I came off as condescending toward your remark, truly it was not meant in that spirit, my fellow nurses are the LAST ones I would want to hurt or insult.I guess my sting was aimed at the trend going on in LTC here in the US, I cant speak for what happens in Canada.Again, I meant NO ill will toward my fellow nurses.
  12. by   Poochee
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Passing meds to 55 people is very normal for the graveyard (night) shift.

    However, there's no way I would pass meds to 55 people on day shift or evenings because there's so much going on. If your finances can afford it, I would promptly quit this job and move on to a safer work environment.

    I work at a nursing home and pass meds to only 17 residents. I am able to handle up to 35 residents if I manage my time well. However, 55 patients is absolutely ridiculous.
    ______________X Co-Signing, been there, done it, Adios is 5 letters.
  13. by   linzz
    Sorry Ingelein, didn't mean to sound snappy at you, I guess I am just upset about this situation for a few reasons, one is that as a new grad, this is hardly even close to safe, number two, I was lied to in the interview about the patient ratios, was not told that they were to almost double, although I was told about floating and that is fine as most places do this from time to time, the other problem is that this facility refuses to even orient a nurse to each unit, not even one day on each of the 3 units and when you are not getting any hours, it will be a huge challenge to keep track of who is who. Next time, I will wake up and ask way more questions and hopefully I will get a truthful response.
  14. by   classicmusic09
    Dear Linzz, Re:Change of working conditions at LTC, I worked in LTC for over 21 years. I've had some hair raising experiences!
    Passing meds to 55 residents, plus all the treatments, monitoring the dining room, manditory feeding assistance (which I loved, but it would always, be challenging to complete meds also in a timely manner!) Not to mention the emergencies! Was extremely stressful! I would encourage you to go with your gut feeling. If it feels overwhelming, protect yourself, and look for another option. I wish you success!

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