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Does anyone LOVE long term care??

Geriatric   (14,783 Views 35 Comments)
by katy417 katy417 (New) New

1,973 Profile Views; 9 Posts

:redbeathe Hi there everyone. I'm currently working in LTC as a certified nursing assistant, but am looking forward to becoming a LPN within the next year. So far, despite the intense stress, I love working in LTC. However, it seems like every LPN I come across hates the work they do in the nursing home. They are stressed, overworked, understaffed, underappreciated, etc etc... It's discouraging to say the least, and it is making me question whether or not I'll be happy working in a nursing home once I graduate my LPN program. Does anyone out there love working long term care?? I keep reading post after post on here about the horrors of being a nurse in that environment. I'd love to hear from anyone who can represent the flip side of the coin!

Thank you

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CT Pixie has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

3,723 Posts; 35,694 Profile Views

LTC LPN here. In all honesty, I don't love my job every day, every shift. But I love my LTC job more than I find myself diliking it. Its like having kid..you love them, but there are time you really don't "like" them and want to send them off on a slow boat to China!

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1 Post; 606 Profile Views

Hello,

I agree with CT Pixie, very true that at times I would like to send them on a slow boat(very funny),and it can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. I work in LTC skilled facility, I am a fairly new grad, (3 yrs) and this was my first job, no experience either. I do love the work, and run my butt off at the same time. If , as an aide you enjoy the work, I think that as an LPN you will even enjoy it more.

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2,819 Posts; 24,967 Profile Views

I loved working long term care when I was a nursing assistant. I felt I was really helping others and I got a lot of personal satisfaction at my job. That all changed when I became an LPN. I got a job as an LPN at LTC and I was miserable and unhappy. I didn't have time to talk to the patients because I was always too busy always passing meds and doing non-stop paperwork. I found working in LTC as an LPN to be very stressful for me. Everyone is different though so I hope that you won't be miserable like I was when you get your LPN.

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182 Posts; 4,123 Profile Views

I will warn you guys this post is going to be long lol.

I am a relatively new LPN. I got my license in October of 2009 and went to work in a LTC facility in November. I didn't even last the orientation period because even being a new nurse I was smart enough to realize I was risking my new license each day I was there. I sat out the holidays because I was totally disgusted and then went to work in a different facility in January of this year. I currently work a Baylor weekend position of 7a-7p. (I can't work full time because I myself, have an elderly mom who lives with me and I don't want to leave her alone all the time.)

While this facility is definitely better quality than the first one I tried, it is the most stressful situation I have ever found myself in. I have three med passes of 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. The LPN's are expected to feed residents during all three meals and even clean off tables afterwards. I have 32 residents on my hall. One of the g-tube residents is so combative I have to find an CNA to help hold her down so I can flush her tube and administer her meds. Then you best make sure a sheet is folded and placed across her abdomen or she will rip the tube out and you will find it on the floor.

The last four weekends have been pretty bad....with someone having to be sent out each time due to falls etc. Then of course med pass stops and you began the stack of paperwork, which is required. During all of this you are interrupted 5 million times. Not to mention we are also required to answer the phone (even when you are down the hall) since there is generally no one at the desk to do so. It rings continuously. The residents who wear wanderguard bracelets constantly walk up and down the halls setting off the alarms on the doors, which requires you to trot down the hall each time to shut it off. This goes on all day.

I have found the workload to be almost impossible. After one fall I was still passing meds at 7 p.m. when my relief got there. I can't help but wonder why they place these residents who have dementia to the point they don't even realize they are in the world in situations where they will get up and fall. While they do stick an alarm on them there is no way to reach them before they go down. No type of restraints are allowed. This is something for the life of me I don't understand. Even in daycare centers we would protect a child from falling, but not the elderly in LTC.

So my answer to whether I love LTC would have to be a resounding "no". There are many of the residents I truly enjoy. If all that was required was to pass meds it might not be so bad. I find myself wondering however, if there is ANYthing that isn't the LPN's responsibility each time I work. It is overwhelming to the point that I really feel like tossing in the towel :(. I guess I just hate to admit defeat. We are supposed to get two 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch. I haven't had a 15 minute break since I have been there and I am lucky to get 10 minutes to choke down a sandwich. I went so long this past weekend without eating I was nauseous to the point of vomiting.

My hat is off to the men & women who can do this job without batting an eye. I know already though that I am not one of them and sometime in the near future I will have to seek another avenue:) I plan on going back to school in the summer to get my RN. I really hope this will open some other doors for me.

Have a great day!

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9 Posts; 1,973 Profile Views

Thank you all for your responses. When I was training for my CNA certification, my instructor was a LPN. He said he felt like he did more paperwork than he did nursing while working in LTC. It's good to see the different perspectives from different LPNs. I imagine it's going to be one of those situations where I get in there, feel completely incompetent for a good six months, and then slowly get my footing and feel a little less overwhelmed. Since I am still working as a CNA, I think it's funny to hear all the other CNAs gripe about how L-A-Z-Y our LPNs are. You hear lots of things like, "All they do is push a cart around and run their mouth up at the nursing station." I'd like to hear some of my co-workers say those things when/if they ever earn their LPN and see how you literally drown in paperwork and how if an incident happens, your whole shift can be thrown off kilter. Fortunately, I've got several fantastic LPNs on my shift, and I've been draining them for information. Some love their job, love their residents, love their CNAs, but hate the stress load. Some probably shouldn't have ever become nurses in the first place. Well, really just one in particular. I guess every work place has to have that one person who is really abrasive and impossible to work with! Hopefully I can get in at a facility where there is enough staff/funding to make it a safe place to work. Definitely not looking to lose my license!

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Kashia has 13 years experience as a ASN, LVN and specializes in Med-Surg, Home Health, LTC.

284 Posts; 8,394 Profile Views

The one thing I love is spending time with patients. I will call them people. Elders.

LTC is a cart pushing job and I feel there is never time to spend doing really is the most important thing we can do...listening.

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rnlately has 6 years experience and specializes in LTC, Acute Care.

439 Posts; 7,833 Profile Views

Pegasus,

The way you describe your day, I'm sure we must work at the same facility.................lol.

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Paula Breen RN has 44 years experience and specializes in Geriatrics, Orthopedics, Psych.

1 Post; 1,407 Profile Views

Ah, are you still in LTC? The beauty of LTC is in the strength of the nurse and the resident. It may never be what you want, it will always need your energy. As people leave this planet they leave some part of themselves with you. Figure it out, poor facilities are not for you. Find a facility and make it better with your energy. The residents need you. If you are strong, you can make the toughest place better before you move on to another spot. Give LTC your youth, energy, love:yeah: and you will be satisfied for a lifetime.

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Peds_Nurse has 2 years experience and specializes in LT, skilled, IV, pediatrics.

63 Posts; 2,393 Profile Views

I'm also a new nurse and my first job is in an LTC. Yes, we pass meds, chart, and take orders, but...It's when the resident says "Thank you" with a smile because you were able to relieve pain or simply able to acknowledge them, that the stress, no breaks, and no help (we have really bad CNAs) isn't that bad afterall.

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419 Posts; 5,963 Profile Views

I have been working on a skilled unit for over two years. I love the patients / residents, but the job itself? No, I don't love it.

I have worked around the entire facility - med passes on every hall, treatments, charge, etc., and it's all too much work and too little time. But the worst thing is low staff morale, management that doesn't care at all about its employees, and a horrendous schedule that keeps me away from my family too long.

In LTC, if you do your job, you are exhausted at the end of the day. Too exhausted to do much else, like have a life.

So even though I love certain aspects of LTC, there is probably little chance I will continue doing it much longer.

It's just too much.

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182 Posts; 4,123 Profile Views

Eldragon the last four words of your post sums it up to a "T". IT'S JUST TOO MUCH.....and each time my facility gets a new DON...and from what I understand they seem to change quite regularly.... several more things are added to the list of responsiblities the LPN must do. If you have made it there two years you are probably going to do better than me. I have been there 3 1/2 months and already know I am not going to make it for any extended length of time. Perhaps those 20 years younger than me can go a constant 12 hours without eating or taking a break (and to those my age and older who CAN, as I said in the previous post my hat is off to you), but this ole cat can't lol... no matter how great some of the residents are!

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