Published Jun 19, 2009
I work 3-11 shift. There are two LPNs assisgned to my unit. I'm new the other has like 20+ years of experience. I worked as an aide at this same facility before getting licensed. I feel like I am nothing but a pill pushing machine. I have two med passes a 4 and a 8. With some 6pm coumadins scattered in there. The 4pm med pass really isn't so bad. It's the 8 that kicks my butt. Getting in the narc drawer for over half of the pts may have something to do with it. I always feel rushed and leave work late just about every night b/c I have to get my charting and weekly summaries done. I feel like nothing I get nothing accomplished other than passing meds, I'm beginning to think that LTC might not be my forte, but I hate the thought of going somewhere new and starting at the bottom of the totem pole. I'm stressed out, my family life is suffering b/c of it. I come home and worry whether I charted on so and so or did I take that voice order down right. I don't sleep, I'm up at all hours of the night b/c my brain won't shut off. I get nothing accomplished during the day b/c I end up sleeping the day away b/c I have been up so late. I don't really have anyone who understands, none of my friends or family are in the healthcare profession. I simply do not know what to do.
Oh girl! I am sorry! I am not even a real nursing STUDENT yet so I don't even know your main at all. I hope things get better.
Do I dare to ask how many residents you have?
Depending on the # of nurses scheduled that afternoon. with 4 nurses 25 with 3 nurses 32
Well I'm in the same boat as you then except I have 60 residents to finish a med pass on. The 6 pm one often gets done around 6:30-7. Then I immediately start the 9-10 pm med pass which HOPEFULLY gets done by quarter to 11. Its absolutely insane. I feel the same way as you do about being nothing except a pill pusher. Also you probably get the grand luxury of answering call bells and bed alarms that go off all night just as I do. I go home lay in bed and remember something that I didn't do..not because I didn't want to or neglected it because I simply forgot in all the rush of trying to get my pills out. The patient who wanted water that I just forgot. I feel like the worst nurse in the world and then I try to remind myself that it's the system that is broken NOT ME. If you can find a job somewhere else that would make you happier..I would surely take it. If I find a job somewhere else--I would be putting my 2 weeks in very quickly. Keep your head up and remember it's not you thats "broken." If your lucky enough to find a new job..count your blessings and move on. Good luck to you.
NC Girl BSN
Sadly, I felt the same as you when I worked LTC. I had 30 patients and Hugged the med cart 6hrs of my entire shift. I decided that I was not gonna be happy doing that for the rest of my life so I got my RN and now work in the hospital caring for 4-5 patients. The pace is still fast but its a whole lot better.
Yup, I'm going back to school in September so I have to last 4 more years.
I've worked evening shift in LTC, and days, and believe me - days is even worse. Two meals to work, and I've had up to 43 patients, most of whom take narcotics once or twice a shift. In the 16 months I've worked LTC, I've never had a ten-minute break, as there is always SOMETHING that needs to be done; a family member asking questions, something that needs to be charted, someone asking for yet another Lortab, or a doctor call that needs to be initiated, supplies that need to be ordered and put away, etc.
At least evenings gets a shift differential where I work, and there are fewer family members and bosses around, and only one meal to work.
Long term care, in my opinion, really stinks. I put in my notice last week and the DON begged me all week to change my mind, because employees are dropping like flies. She basically offered me any position in the facility if I'd stay. I picked something I'd be interested in doing for a while, which DOESN't include passing meds, and if I'm not scheduled for that new job NEXT WEEK - I walk out the door and never look back. I'm tired of working in a sweat-shop atmosphere. It either gets better now for me, or I walk.
GooeyRN, ADN, BSN, CNA, LPN, RN
WHile I loved working with the elderly, I had to leave LTC for the same reasons. I wanted to do more than pass pills all day/evening/night.
This is all very true. I have worked days too and had 30 patients and I could barely stand that.
How long have you been at this job? Long enough to feel like you gave it a fair chance if you were to give it up now? I am a clinic nurse and have "banker's hours" but there are still nights when I go home and feel like you do--like the worry never stops. I tried LTC nursing on top of my regular job--they wanted someone from 6pm to 11:30pm so I went there after working until 5 at my regular job. Trust me, that didn't last long. I felt like a pill pusher too, and being accustomed to having actual conversations with my pts during the day made it that much harder. I wanted to be able to talk to 'Mrs. Jones' not just give her pills and leave. Plus, I felt like it took me forever to get done with a med pass.
Anyway, you may want to re-evaluate if LTC is for you or not and just go from there...
I know this wasn't much help, but just wanted to let you know you aren't alone.
You are just the type of nurse I want to take care of me. You can't " turn off " your brain because you are consciencous! You CARE! That's why you can't sleep at nite. I have been working long term for almost 40 yrs, I have no trouble dropping off to sleep, but around 3 am, my eyes open, and all the things I did for the day before come playing back to me. I analyse everything, " I should have done this" or " I shouldn't have done that". I try to answer call bells, answer questions, I make promises to get a resident a toothbrush and at 3 am I remember that I forgot to do it, and then lay there and worry about it!
It is stressfull, it's a hard job and you really feel like you don't make a difference in someones day, but you DO! Believe me, you DO! Long term is hard! But you need to love it! If you don't, it won't be for you!
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