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Affecting Change in Care of Geriatric Population

Posted

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

I've been working in a SNF for the past 6 weeks and I know that I love this population. I'm very disturbed about the culture in LTC though, and I don't feel like it is humanly possible for these patients to get good care when there are 20-60 patients to one nurse. It's so obviously about profit and not patient care. How do we change this?? I realize the need for these companies to make their money but at the expense of human lives? At the expense of our elders, who deserve SO MUCH MORE? It makes me sad and I'm clueless on how to bring about change. :(

soybeck

Specializes in LTC.

I feel you on this. Unfortunately, every choice in long term care comes down to "who is going to pay for this?" In Illinois the State pays so slowly for the Medicaid patients that if it were not for our self/private pay people we would be going under. Our administration only looks at the numbers required by law for staffing and THAT is what we have to work with - never mind the acuity of the care we have to give, if the state says one nurse can care for 50 people, well then one nurse is all they are allowed to staff.

I do not know how to affect change in an industry so driven by profit. In my company, many people in upper management are not educated in health care fields but in business, so they really have no real concept of what the actual day to day work is like. All they see are numbers on paper (or on their computer screen I guess).

Secondly, I see also a shift in our culture in how the elders are viewed. Many of the young people who come in as CNAs or food service staff have no respect even for their own peers, let alone their supervisors, parents or grandparents. With the "progress" of society we see the degradation of family values, including respect for our elders.

With that being said, all I have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given to me, and that includes giving the best care I possibly can, and being a voice for my people when I have to be.

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

Thank you for replying. I am still trying to think of ways to raise awareness. It's an overwhelming task. :(

CapeCodMermaid, RN

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

We have changed plenty in the years I've been in the business. Getting more staff however will always be a problem until the system of reimbursement for long term residents changes.