AngelRN27 2,715 Views
Joined: Aug 11, '12;
Posts: 157 (30% Liked)
; Likes: 78
I have been working at my current LTC facility as an RN for 6 months. I was just moved to the 11-7 shift approx. 3 weeks ago. The nurse-patient ratio you mentioned in the OP seems standard for this shift.
Night shift "responsibilities" are pretty much as mentioned above. A few meds at 12am (usually just a couple of nebulizer treatments) and then a relatively small med pass at 6am (mostly Omeprazole and Synthroid). In between you have miscellaneous paper work as well as chart checks which require a meticulous eye and a good knowledge of your facility's protocols/procedures, which will come with time and practice. Other miscellaneous tasks include hanging new piston syringes for feeders, changing feeds as necessary, cleaning/organizing/re-stocking med carts, possibly making the morning shift's assignment (depending on your facility), checking resident appts for the following day, refilling any low meds or narcs, etc.
You'll be fine, good luck!
If you have issues with the tap water, your facility needs to fix that. The gut is not sterile, no need to use sterile water IMO.
I could maybe see it in a neutropenic patient, maybe.
I graduated from Keiser's Miami campus RN program in 2012. Right now I'm actually finishing up my BSN with them as well (RN to BSN program) after having practiced as a nurse for about 4 years.
I cannot express how glad I am that I chose Keiser for my nursing education. I can't speak for other campuses, as I'm not sure what the hospital systems are like in Tally, but our clinical education was top-notch. First of all, we had THE BEST sites for clinical rotations around. Again, this might be a bit different up there because I'm not even sure what hospital systems you guys have--but down here in the Miami/Ft. Laud area, there are at least 3 large hospital systems I can think of (with each of those having multiple facilities and specialty hospitals). Compared to peers that I later met in the professional arena, we really had it good with regards to the quality of clinical rotations. I literally saw everything, and got to actually DO a hell of a lot more than any of my peers. We rotated through every specialty with lots of hands-on time. The majority of our professors had professional ties at these institutions, so they often had actual relationships with departments we floated through. Some of the areas that I got to see and spend clinical practice time in included: Trauma ICU (Jackson Ryder--nationally renowned), NICU (neonatal), OR, ED, and I did my final practicum in the Pediatric ICU at Miami Children's Hospital (now: Nicklaus), another nationally renowned unit (Practicum is essentially your independent "exit" clinical where you practice alongside a professional preceptor, largely without any professors hovering over you). While all of this might sound like what you expect from nursing school, many of my peers mostly rotated through several skilled nursing facilities (i.e. nursing homes) and then a couple of med-surg floors. IMHO, this is nowhere near "enough."
Beyond the clinical advantage that I truly feel we got at Keiser, our professors were all extremely knowledgeable and had rich experience to draw from. All of them had 15+ years of experience as nurses, many with 20+ years, and a large majority (if not all?) were then nurse practitioners. One of my professors was even an NP/JD--she was a VA nurse, became an NP, and also became an attorney. Where have you heard of getting an instructor like that?!
As you might already know from hearing/investigating around campus, Keiser's RN program is quite rigorous. They require a lot of you and you will undoubtedly have peers that will fail-out. All of our classes start out at a max of 22 students, and I graduated with 14. Nonetheless, our NCLEX pass rate down here is 100%. They also front-load clinical rotations. In other words, you will be in clinicals within the first month of class. From what I hear, this is not common among nursing programs. It sounds daunting, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
I guess you can tell I loved my educational experience. Sorry for the rant.
Overall, my tips would be to get involved and stay involved. Study groups are important, being PRESENT and volunteering for procedures and practice times in the clinical setting is super important, as well as making relationships along the way. Getting a nursing job is often about who you know, especially in the beginning, so make a good impression wherever you go. Keiser grads tend to have a good reputation, so that will also help. Also get comfortable with nursing care plans. The more efficient and comfortable you are with these, the smoother your nursing education will go. This might not make sense yet, but you will see what I mean (LOL). Finally, like the other poster mentioned, you will have to make some large adjustments to your personal life. You did not really include any personal details in your post (that's ok) like whether you are married, have kids, are taking care of older adult parents, etc. If any of these apply, you will need everyone to help out with these factors during nursing school. The financial aspect goes without mentioning. Some of my peers worked during nursing school (weekends only, in the hospital or clinic setting) but it was very tough. I personally worked 60+ hours the year before nursing and between what I saved up and some family help, I was able to go a year without working (lived with family--no rent). You will have to work that part out as well.
Sorry for the super long reply. I love this stuff! LOL, good luck, and enjoy your education! You will actually miss it! And the better you are prepared as a student, I honestly believe that this will make you a much better nurse in the long-run. Excuse the following arrogant rant, but, I am known for being a bad-ass nurse, and I attribute it not only to my passion for it, but to my education.
Angel RN, PCCN
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