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Calling All Nurses for Help or Advice??:(

Is this how the nursing field in assisted living/memory care facilities are?

Let me start off by saying I'm a college student, hoping to become a nurse practitioner one day. I am twenty years old and finishing my second year in college. Right when I turned 18, I signed up for a technician school where I got my CNA, PCT, EKG and Phlebotomy certifications and completed them last July. As soon as I completed these certifications I went out to find myself a job at an Assisted Living and Memory Care facility as a CNA.

So I was a CNA at that facility for 3-4 months and got my basic knowledge of how to do things on the floor and I did a great job to where the nurse would call me in first in or the executive director of that facility to help out all the time they needed someone. I was very passionate for people. Then later on they offered me to be a medication aid and offered to give me free classes at this facility so I took it because I thought this would teach me knowledge on medication and all the rest.

Later on I realize that as a medication aid or as a "Med Tech (they call it there)", they run on them. There is no nurse there 24/7 so a med tech is responsible for anything else that happens there when the nurse isn't there or even sometimes when the nurse IS there.

Luckily, I got the hang of being a med tech and knew what to do and what not but later on the med tech leads (which there was only one in the assisted living side and in memory care) resigned and the facility was in search of new med tech leads. They considered me and my other friend. Myself to work up in the front (assisted living) and my friend to work in the back (memory care) now working in the front is a handful. Mainly because you work with management, the assisted living is a much more heavier job than memory care. But knowing this I took it because I thought it would be a great opportunity. But now I just feel tired, stressed, and overworked. Since the nurse isn't always there its the med techs duty to basically do the nurses job. Which is to do incident reports, chart for resident services, taking vitals and documenting, being responsible for putting in the new monthly MAR and checking it and copying whatever needs to be written, doing rounds with doctors on residents and telling them concerns of the residents or medications, faxing over medication, dealing with nurses who come from hospice or any other facility, if theres an emergency Im the first one they call, etc. I have to do a lot now on a daily basis but I feel like the nurse can be very rude and ignorant when asked questions. I just started this job 11 months ago and I feel like she doesnt understand that because she's been a nurse for 30+ years. When I have a question she has an attitude like "how would I not know", she makes the point that I'm new to this position way too many times towards the family members and everyone else, never sticking up for me. May I make it clear that I know if I leave this job the nurse would be screwed? I also feel like management doesn't realize how crazy a med techs job could be up front. I feel overworked, tired, pissed, underpaid and honestly want to quit when dealing with these crazy residents/family members/ and management . But I don't know if I should just suck it up or find a new job? Are all nursing jobs like this?

May I make it clear that I know if I leave this job the nurse would be screwed? I also feel like management doesn't realize how crazy a med techs job could be up front. I feel overworked, tired, pissed, underpaid and honestly want to quit when dealing with these crazy residents/family members/ and management . But I don't know if I should just suck it up or find a new job? Are all nursing jobs like this?

It sounds like they hired a nurse and a non-nurse and are expecting the nurse to fill in all the holes that an actual nursing education should have provided. It not fair to either of you.

I'm sure management is well aware of the situation, but you are "cheap" labor for them, so don't expect them to care.

Are all nursing jobs like that?

Your current job is a medication tech job/ CNA job. In my experience, those jobs are stressful in long term care.

Nursing is not as it used to be. Right now, every decision is made on finances by people who do not see the value of human beings. It did not really get better by creating study courses like healthcare administration, in which people accumulate who have oftentimes NO clinical background and just want to make "decisions" (and quick money). Guess how those decisions look like... Nurse manager are also pressed about "the numbers".

Value-based care is the trend now but it just started to change more recently. Hopefully, with some evidence for quality of care, work conditions for nurses and nursing related staff will change as patient outcome is often linked to staffing, staffing qualifications and such.

Just think about all the "care" we could provide if our system would stop to pay for treatments that do not add any value to a patient's quality of life, stop unnecessary tests and ridiculous chemotherapy that costs 100 000 dollars and extents life for 4-6 weeks.

Anyhow - yes, nursing is stressful in many ways but also gratifying.

If you have doubts about your goal in terms of college perhaps it is good to explore other options as well. Nurse practitioner is a great goal but it requires to become an nurse and in my opinion also working as such.

I know people who changed their mind and instead became a PA or did something totally different...

Stitch3296

Specializes in Med-Surg.

It sounds like you have some great goals long term, and some excellent motivation and drive to get there. If it were me, I'd look for a job that would work with and not against your studies. Nursing school is tough, and working in a situation like yours "overworked, overstressed and underpaid" isn't going to help you get where you want to go. Why not start looking elsewhere? With a year's experience, you could get a job in the hospital as an aid. It's a great place to get used to the flow of acute care.

Your current situation sounds less than ideal. And I'm sure management knows the ramifications of their decisions and how they affect staff. But if you don't take care of yourself, and look out for your needs it becomes increasingly more difficult to continue to care for others. Good luck to you!

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