jlynn2303 4,730 Views
Joined: May 15, '09;
Posts: 106 (18% Liked)
; Likes: 54
I think that your first year or so is always hell. The good news is that it gets better with time and practice. Everyone can probably relate. Do what you can to relieve your shredded nerves and take care of yourself. You're on your way to being a good nurse.
I was down by 2 res and a few went out for LOAs.....what a difference 2 makes even!!!
My hallway has had 4-5 empty beds for the last two weeks. Its heaven. I'm not rushed. I finish my meds at 9:30. I am out between 11 and 11:30. I feel on top of things. I can sit with the dying resident when her family isn't there. I can help the CNAs. I feel I can actually do all of my job.
And that is why I no longer work shifts I'm not scheduled for.
Love this and thankyou for telling us LTC is not for wimps, it isn't. And it's a lot of hard work thankyou for your respect.
Amen! I work in LTC, have 32 residents who have G tubes, IVs, PICCs, Wound Vacs, blah blah blah.... I have to do all my own phlebotomy, change my foleys out, collect all other labs, and do wound dsg changes myself.
Personally I think the stigma results from ignorant and uninformed comments from nursing professionals who have not and do not work in that environment.
I work LTC as an LPN. Here are the biggest pointers I can give you:
1. Ask the off-going nurse how each resident takes their meds (whole, crushed, etc.) Keep your own cheat sheet.
2. Stock your med cart before running off down the hall.
3. Do NOT pre-pour meds.
4. Do NOT sign narcs out at the end of your shift. Sign as you go.
5. Organization is key. I make a To Do list at the beginning of every shift. I draw little lines for rountine things on each pt. such as VS, BS, fluid intake etc.
6. Chocolate goes a long way with your CNA's
7. Expect to stay late to complete charting.
8. Expect the first month to be overwhelming. I cried every day & swore I was not cut out for it. This too shall pass.
9. Stock your med cart for the next nurse.
10. I keep a seperate piece of paper with items I want to chart on. I rarely have time to chart a NN as I go & I am always afraid I am going to forget something.
Hope this helps & maybe others have items to share!
As a new RN working in a short stay soon to be transitional care unit, It is a very interesting job. I just started not too long ago and I really love it. I wouldnt change nothing about my option to start work there. I am very excited, willing to learn everything so I can make a difference in my patient's life. I appreciate the comments posted here.. I find comfort and fuel to become everything the Lord has created me to be as a nurse..
Welcome to LTC nursing! First of all, you will be way behind the other nurses as far as how long it takes you to pass meds, chart, etc. Don't beat yourself up over it - after all, the rest of us were way behind when we started - it is a learning process; and each week you will find yourself getting your meds and work done in a more timely manner. You also have to take into account that residents fall, get sick, get transferred to the hospital, and die. These have a direct affect on when you can get to the rest of your work. Don't feel so rushed that you ignore when a resident, family member, or CNA tell you that there is something wrong with a resident - they deserve the time you take to assess them properly.
All jobs have ups and downs - the best part of LTC nursing is the wonderful residents - for many we are all that they have, we are their family. You will fall in love a hundred times over and your greatest thanks are from the residents that need you so badly. It may not be spoken, but when someone's eyes light up because they see you coming on shift, and they smile, you will know you are needed and appreciated!
I Wish u good Luck, patience and a willingness to love the job. LTC needs GOOD RNs who want to make a difference in the specialty. LTC gets such a bad rep most of the time. Don't be afraid to be an RN, theres more to LTC than passing meds. Ask for longer orientation if you feel you need it. Don't let the aides push you around but also dont alienate them, they can be a valuable asset or your worst nightmare. Your skills will come back to you, you didn't forget anything (keep a positive attitude! ). Good luck and enjoy the experience of doing what you worked so hard to do.
I wish we even had that. For geri-clinical the only med-pass education I got was from an LPN who was showing another student in my group how the med-cart is organized.
I feel like my LTC experience will be useful in the future. I know people say that but .. LTC nurses have 25-30, sometimes 40, 50 patients. Who sometimes all need our attention at the same time. So time management and prioritizing, and assessment skills are very necessary to survive in LTC. We have many residents who were just admitted from a med-surg unit and still have g-tubes, foleys, drains, b/p issues, trachs we get from time to time, wounds(either ulcers or surgical wounds), wound vac, psych issues, colostomies, iv sites, etc
I tell people I work in a nursing home and they think all the residents do are sleep and eat. Just the opposite,, they don't sleep, they are awake(and some not behaving) most of the day and part of the night lol.. and you have to beg and plead and pray for some of them to eat.
I work in a skilled nursing facility... that is what I say and it tends to not have that stigma. I am in the acute setting type rehab... lots of dressing changes, trachs, wound vacs, peg tubes, picc lines, therapy, therapy, therapy, MD appointments and critical thinking because I do not have an MD on site 24 hours a day to call when someone goes unresponsive or when someone is confused out of the ordinary or if their wound is goeyier than normal.. I honestly critically think more in SNF than I did as a nurse in the hospital... I assess every time I see a resident... and I have 25 of them, all with acute care needs... and I LOVE IT!!! Never would I apply to a hospital now because I am using my nursing skills every second! All should rethink what they think long term care is because it is an evolving field with much more acute care patients there for rehab to go home...
I would like to also point out a lot of people posting "I wouldn't be happy in LTC because I don't like x,y,z" obviously don't work in LTC and don't seem to have tried. I'm not argueing that they should, or that they might be happy if they tried. But to post that they would not be happy when they have no experience just feeds into the idea that LTC is somehow settling or less than other specialties. Yes, the med pass sucks, but that's not ALL we do and therefore if you don't like passing meds you should be grateful not to be in LTC. Those types of comments just perpetuate the issue.
It goes back to what do you want to do with your nursing degree? I started off in long term care many years ago as an STNA, then an LPN, then an RN, and now 6 months out from my BSN....and still work in long term care, and by no means am I incompetent like that stigma out there portrays. I actually had an opportunity to take a position for an internship not too long ago at our city's only trauma hospital and I turned it down. I love long term care. Yes, I have worked the 40 to 1 ratio and I still loved it then because in the end you do build strong relationships with your residents and their families. Now, I do not work on the floor currently. I work on the finanical side of things, but I still love it, and I still love my residents. So it's all in what you want to do. This current position I have has actually changed my career path from wanting to obtain my NP degree to wanting to get an MBA because I love the business side of things as well, so my career path I have chosen was for a reason. So, if you should decide to remain in long term care, do not worry about what the general public has to say. Us long term care nurses are not incompetent by any means, and when those who put long term care down instead of trying to bring it up, will be glad when them or their loved ones show up at the front door and a nurse like me who knows her sh%t is there to care for them and their family.
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