A day in the life of a developmental disability nurse... - page 2

Hi everyone, I will be graduating nursing school in 2006, and right now am just kinda feeling my way around, and trying to get as much information from experienced nurses in my different fields of... Read More

  1. by   sunnym
    I agree there is not a normal day-
    It is one thing that really makes me love my job!
    Although I'm not a NURSE (well not yet ) I have worke with adults with DD and profound MR for teh last 7 years... there is nothing better! Every day we have suprises -
  2. by   DLRN
    I see you are from NY,what state agencies are in NY,I have worked in this field for about 15 years,I had no clue there were state agencies for mr/dd population.How are the benefits,retire,ment?THanks
  3. by   lindylou54
    Quote from Louisepug
    Hi everyone,
    I will be graduating nursing school in 2006, and right now am just kinda feeling my way around, and trying to get as much information from experienced nurses in my different fields of interest. I definately have an interest in this field, and am just curious to know what a "typical" day in the life of a dev. disability nurse is like. Also, how wide open is this field for say, a new grad? Do they prefer you to have regular med-surg or any other experience before you would be hired? Thanks for your time everyone! :angel2: Louisepug

    well , all I can say is that with NY State-the LPN/DA is a dual role- you work as a developmental assistant (aide) and as an LPN; it is hard , but rewarding. Right now I am working as a DA- I may go back to A LPN position if one opens up that is near home. The state has you do a lot of nonsense things and tend to overlook the fact that you have practical nursing skills, but you usually work in homes that have 4-10 people living there and of course it all depends on whether or not they are behavioral or just medical needs; the state has good pay and good benefits-check out nys web site-omrdd-has some info too. linda
  4. by   sjmac
    Quote from HowieH RN
    My advise to anyone wanting to go into DD is to get some hospital experience first. It's important to get down the basics before specializing in something, and DD is specializing. It's hard enough to figure out what to do when your patients can talk to you. Now try to figure out whats wrong when they can't tell you!! The residential associates (really NA's) come to you and tell you "something's wrong with Mary" you go and assess her and she's sitting in her W/C, can't tell you, she's crying, and you have to call the on call MD who doesn't know her. That's where your experience will come in. Good luck with your decision.

    Is a learning disability nurse known as a DD nurse in the US? I have been looking for job vacancies but can't find ANYTHING! Would appreciate your help in what I should be looking for! Regards, sjmac
  5. by   krob0729
    We have 2 wings, 3 nurses on each wing. We work 12 hour shifts..5-5. We're lucky if our med pass takes the "2 hours of compliance" you get kids havingn seizures, going into respiratory distress that you have to send to the ER, kids pulling gt's out, family members calling, ... etc. I usually do all of my tx's on my second med pass. 90% of our kids are bedridden, but not one kid there has any skin breakdown. We have some awesome aides. We have no med aides. Then theres the charting, daily skin assessments, V/S reports (3 x wk) Weekly SZ reports and Behavior reports, med orders, then you have the bolus feedings that you have to stand in the room for a while since its gotta drain in the tube.Checking vent monitors and apnea alarms everytime they go off because your respiratory dept is busy on the other side of the wing suctioning and stuff (these seem to go off continuously). You would think that 12 hours would be plenty of time....NOT!! Sometimes we don't even get a lunch because we are running the whole time we are there. But I cant help but enjoy going to work and enjoy doing what I do.
  6. by   Ragdoll
    I worked in an ICF/MR facility as an LPN for four years. I absolutely loved being a DD nurse! Even today I still feel that there is no greater achievement than helping clients help themselves. At our group home, the motto was "do with, not for." Sadly, I left this position when I decided to go back to school for my RN. The group home consolidated with another group home and now the agency has several homes across the country.

    One thing I would recommend about this area is that you have some prior experince working in a hospital on a medical surgical floor or a peds unit because it was my experince that other staff look to YOU the nurse in the facility to be a leader in several different areas. In the agency I worked for, there were 2 nurses, myself and an RN. We were consulted constantly for questions about medication error policies, g tube trainings, questions about certain illnesses, signs and symptoms to watch for, etc. It is a wonderful area to work in and I miss it so much.

    Currently, I am working in a community based nursing in the psychiatric area. It's very rewarding as well, but DD nursing is still my passion.

    Connie, RN

    PS: DD also has some cool state nursing organizations and they have a national one as well.
  7. by   Midwest4me
    WOW I knew I had a good job---but after reading the demands and pt ratios that some of you have, I realize I have a GREAT job! I work for group homes operated by the State as a vacation-relief nurse. The maximum # of clients to a home is 5; some have 3. The # direct care staff is usually 2-4 depending on the shift. GREAT benefits(fully state-paid). After working in nsg homes and MD clinics, etc, this is the best job ever!
  8. by   sjmac
    Thanks for your message. I'm having a good look around, have been given some great information. thanks to everyone for their help!
  9. by   grace90
    As a med-surg nurse and mom of an autistic/severely retarded child, I just wanted to say "Thank You" to those of you who are nurses of the MR and DD. Thanks for caring for these special children/adults. :spin: :angel2:
  10. by   callie7
    Hello I'm a Lpn working with the deveolpmentally disabled. I work in several different clients homes and enjoy it greatly. I have worked with disabled for over 14 yrs and have just started the nursing aspect of it this year. I too will be graduating soon from an RN program. I believe you have to be a very patient individual to work in this field. I find it very rewarding and I do know I like the fact that I can give quality care to one or two clients than having myself divided between 6 or more patients. I live in Oklahoma and was hired with no experience in nursing. The agency I work for is awesome about training and never just threw you out there. I think this field of nursing is somewhat hard to fill because nurses are sometimes scared of this population of individuals. I know these individuals have made such a difference in my life and I love this field of nursing.
  11. by   lindseylpn
    I work for a group home for people who have been transitioned from a large facility into the community. I have 3 patients and i work with 2 dsps (direct support professionals), they do everything a cna would do but they dont have to be certified. I give out meds, do all the charting, take drs orders etc. i also have to do direct care for 1 pt, the 2 dsps take care of the other pts. I love my job, we get to take our guys fishing, to ballgames, to the park and really anywhere that they want to go. this is a really great field to get into, its so rewarding and u really feel appreciated.
  12. by   australianrn
    I have a great job and feel so lucky to have found it. After 4 years I am still enjoying all aspects of it. I look after 4 or 5 disabled children each shift, under 6 years of age. I do all the charting, meds, g feeds, ng feeds if any. I have gotten very close to the kids and their families over the years.
    DD is a very rewarding area to work in.
  13. by   Markthemalenurse
    I do agree that this field can be very rewarding.