How to Determine Whether a LTC / SNF is Well Run - page 2

by vintagemother | 10,036 Views | 45 Comments

Hello Nurses! I am taking the prereqs to apply to nursing school and recently became a CNA. I'd read and heard that working in a SNF / LTC facility was not desirable to most nurses and I (wrongly) assumed that people who... Read More


  1. 3
    Quote from MN-Nurse
    I think the best assumption is that if you work at a SNF, things are going to suck. You do your best to keep from from sucking too bad until you can find a better job.
    This one definitely made me laugh and is oh so true. My question then becomes why must we put up with this? I know, I know, I am going to repeat this fact until I am purple in the face, but allnurses has over 560,000 members, and we are all disgusted by these problems we face....why can't we do something? We are a HUGE majority! Just something to think about.
  2. 0
    Walk in and look around. If the place smells strongly of old urine and the MAJORITY of residents look very dissheveled, you may want to look elsewhere. look at the staff. Do they look like they hate life? there are sour people in every bunch, but if most of the staff look like they hate life odds are the place is poorly run. Make sure to ask about their turnover rate. usually if they have a high turnover rate, (moreso than the average nursing home.) it's poorly run.
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    My grandmother spent the last few years of her life in an LTC, and our biggest complaint was the amount of her clothing that 'disappeared'. Despite having her last name printed in large letters across the back of most items. Her care was adequate, but she was verbal until the end.

    My mother-in-law had to be placed 6 1/2 years ago due to dementia. She has been in 3 facilities. They have all been extremely well-run. The most recent was family-owned until just a few week ago, and the staff was there since forever. Many people who worked there were related - mother/dau, some sisters, cousins, etc. No one on the staff ever looks sad, stressed, or angry. The place doesn't smell bad. My MIL is always in clean clothes, hair usually combed, etc. She is still ambulatory but is nonverbal.

    I am happy that she is being well-cared for.

    LTC facilities vary widely and it is no easy task to care for many of these patients. Many years ago I worked at one, and I truly appreciate those who can.

    My sincerest best wishes to ALL of those who work at these types of places!!
    Hoozdo and lindarn like this.
  4. 1
    Quote from MN-Nurse
    I think the best assumption is that if you work at a SNF, things are going to suck.

    You do your best to keep from from sucking too bad until you can find a better job.

    Not true at all........ I LOVE my job! I have a Masters degree in Nursing and choose to work in LTC.
    lindarn likes this.
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    I went back and found a long post I made about this a few months ago: http://allnurses.com/general-nursing...ml#post5400513
    CapeCodMermaid likes this.
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    I am in different facilities every day due to the nature of my work. They do vary dramatically but the good ones are out there and they are not as scarce as some would have you believe. Don't be fooled by a nice entry way and reception area; disregard the decor. Look at the residents and the staff as you walk around the facility. Are residents stacked knee deep around the nursing station and staring off into space? Are the staff all rushing about and not speaking or interacting with residents? Does the staff refuse to make eye contact? Are the residents in clean, appropriate clothing? Does the facility smell or is the noise level equivalent to a nightclub on Saturday night?

    To me these are signs of a poorly run facility that doesn't treat residents or staff with dignity, respect and professionalism. Running out of supplies happens everywhere occasionally, being run off your feet by a challenging day happens in every working environment on the planet but all of these things are bearable if, overall, the facility is well run. Please don't let 1 bad experience convince you that LTC is a hellhole or the worse job in nursing. It is not and I see the proof every day in facilities run by caring, dedicated people who do the best they can with the resources at hand.
    koi310, SHGR, kmarie724, and 1 other like this.
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    A good source of information about facilities in your area might be the Long Term Care Ombudsman program. In many states, the Ombudsman program is operated through local area agencies on aging.
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    I think one of the best ways to figure this out-- that I wish someone had told me before I had taken this job-- was to estimate how much it costs a resident to stay at that particular LTC/SNF and compare it to how well-staffed it is. My facility is extremely expensive to stay at; it is outrageous, and we don't have enough CNA to compensate for how much they pay to live here. I always feel really guilty when I can't provide complete care to residents the way I used to in school. I try to keep the place super clean, but I'm not always working. Some shifts leave it sparkling, while others leave a garbage dump.

    The truth is, the LTC corporate only cares about making more and more money. The blame for poor satisfaction always falls on us staff, although in reality the problem lies in poor staffing procedures. We don't have enough staff to care for the patients/residents the way corporate would like us to-- we can't fulfill their lies with inadequate staffing. I would not mind a pay cut-- take away my shift differential for all I care; just hire a few more CNA.

    It's not that people don't wanna work in LTC because they think they're too good for it; it's because there are too many that are BADLY run. It's a shame, because these places have the potential to be good for patients. Corporate just refuses to sacrifice a small profit for quality.
  9. 0
    Omg after reading this I have realized this is me! I started orientation at a "fancy looking" snf & the office staff directors were soo warm, etc. I never really paid attention to the staff on the floor until orientation, but now yes..i notice they just run around the best they can to finish their work, they're burnt out, they do try to smile...but who can w/soo much to do! They don't even have a desk nurse or secretary on their stations and do all of that too. Not sure how to get out myself since its been so hard to find a job as a new grad, but this place seems unhealthy for my well being. The directors don't listen to staff & worry about how to make they're facility look better! I obviously got tricked from the appearance of the place! The comp charting, cna smart charts, & updated facility. i'm hoping everyday i find a job asap because i am getting depressed and this much anxiety is overwhelming..
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    Yes, that's the problem with most (not all) private sector SNF facilities. They care more about putting on a glitzy facade to impress family of prospective admits. This is why I think ALL SNF in the country would be better off being government owned and ran by the feds or the state. Government homes ARE more institutional and less "homey" than private places, but I think having a nursing home be driven by a profit motive is inherently cruel to the residents.


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