Had interview for SDC

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    I had an interview at a LTC facility for a staff development/infection control nurse. I read another post by a nurse that said all the things she had to do in LTC as a SDC (give PPDs to all the staff and residents, etc., etc.), and that it was still overwhelming after 3 years. I'm a little worried if I'd be able to handle it O.K. if I was offered the job, and that I wouldn't spend endless hours finishing up the job's loose ends at home. I have a husband and kids, and I often prefer part-time work as long as it's enough to pay the bills. This position is FT, and being on rotation to be the manager on weekends. It would involve caring for T.B. tests, Hep. B, flu shots, infection control reports, inservices, on-call rotation, as well as a couple other things. And although I've had quite a few years of nursing experience, I don't have much long-term care experience and no management experience, although I do have some experience teaching nursing assistants. The facility also has a history of poor surveys. On the other hand, in this day and age it's great to have a stable job with benefits, and I do like teaching. I can imagine myself being happy teaching nursing assistants if a job opened in a community college, but I don't have such a prospect available now. I do have another interview coming up for a different position which I might like if I were offered it. Sorry to ramble, just hope someone could shed a little light on this subject, and how to decide if a LTC SDC position is a good fit.
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    I did SDC in LTC and it was very overwhelming, i would have preferred to stay working the floor but the facility asked me to take over and I thought it would be a good promotion for me, unfortunatley i found many staff wouldnt comply and i got tired of being blamed if the nurse did something wrong cuz i didnt train her right.. I much prefer CM now.
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    This actually sounds like my dream job lol. If you are given the ability to develop this job it could be fun. Think of it this way, you will still have plenty of patient contact and have the opportunity to see all patients that come through the door. Often times, you may be the one person that they can talk to about issues they may be having which you will be able to alert the proper department within your facility to help with. You will also have contact with every other employee that works there. Mostly, this also would be fun and interesting. While you are talking to them about their injections (often calming the few very squeemish ones), you build rapport with them. Once you gain their trust, they are more likely to follow your infection control procedures that you teach. These classes can be fun and interesting. For many of them, explaining the many ways to pass on infections and ways to prevent them will be new information. You may just find that if you do a nice job at explaining this, that the employees will start to 'police' each other before an infection gets out of hand! Infection Control really is a whole facility team effort, you will need the cooperation of the intire staff or you will find that are fighting an uphill battle.

    Keeping up with all of the timed injections can be challenging but is extremely doable. It does take a bit of organization, especially at the beginning, but once you have developed a system that works for you, it can go smoothly. You may even find that this is one thing that helps you feel more in control of your work life...Lets say that you go wing by wing, or floor by floor and you start first thing in the am. Once finished, that is something that you can cross off your 'to do' list with a bit of satisfaction. As opposed to the miriade of things that you have to keep track of ...

    I, like you, love the teaching aspect. There are so many many teachable moments in healthcare! And I love when someone 'gets it'. Some of it does bore me to death, the annual stuff. For many of these I try to be creative and do things out of the norm to kee everyone's interest, including my own lol. I try to include many methods of learning, not just me talking, though for some that is the only way to get the information across. The best ones get the employees involved and seem to be the ones that are remembered the longest.

    As for being in a facility with a poor survey history, I personally would veiw this as a challenge. You can make the difference if you know what areas that the facility is the weakest in. Use this as a guide for your teaching modules. If done effectively, there should be some areas that show immediate improvement but many you will have to wait and see when next survey rolls around. The hard part for me here is that once something is implemented to address a short-term goal, I am not always very quick to end that program. Often, it will be the employees asking me how long a certain thing has to be followed before I discontinue it as I am not doing it everyday like they are. So this is where you have to be open to what they say to you and also make it clear that you are open to change or at the very least a discussion about changing something that is either not working or needs to be tweeked. This is a big job and sometimes you can get bogged down in the details or think that you have to reinvent the wheel when often times, the answer is much simpler than we make it!

    As for the on-call rotation, this initially would make me a bit nervous if I hadn't worked in LTC prior to this, but if you get a good orientation, take the time to know the residents and staff, and basically getting to know the LTC environment, it really is not hard at all. You will basically be a sounding board for events that occur in the facility or they may ask for your guidance. Some of the events may be falls, incidents/accidents, call offs, admissions, discharges. Keep a copy of the p and p's at home with you for your own guideance, until you get more familiar with them. I would also suggest that until you feel comfortable in this role that you ask that one of the other more experienced managers be your back up in the event that something comes up that you are not familiar with you could call on them for instructions.

    While this job does pose some challenges, if you make it your own it can be quite fun! But it may take several months for you to find your comfort zone. I would ask the new prospective employer about the degree of autonomy that you would be afforded or if you will have to follow what others have done before you, how to deal with non-compliance by staff or residents with protocols, and to what extent that the nurse manager will be involved or will back you with compliance of staff to attend your in-services. If the nurse manager does not view compliance with importance, than this job may be an uphill battle from the start. Best of luck to you.
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