"Nursing homes" giving nurses a bad rap - page 3

Hi, Im a nursing student and I'm putting my 2 cents in. I think if the public had a better idea of what nurses do, they would support us and not only insist upon but demand better patient care. ... Read More

  1. by   lyndalous


  2. by   TracyB,RN
    I have to "ditto" the responses. LTC really does get the shaft when it comes to funding. I have worked at both good & bad nursing homes. Yeah, the work can be trying at times, but like someone else said, the elderly are the most likely to give you a "thank you" for what you do. There are the residents who are an encyclopedia of information., even though they may repeat it, each time , they add a new tidbit of info. Maybe the original poster should try to volunteer for a while at a nursing home, to call bingo, or lead a sing a long. The elderly enjoy human contact just like the rest of us.
  3. by   kbolles
  4. by   auntmimi57
    Last edit by auntmimi57 on May 15, '04 : Reason: ooooooooo
  5. by   duckie
    You know Mimiboop, I think you may be on to something!! Remember Sammy?????? (The nurse that posted, stating her license was in trouble, then never responded or got back to anyone about how she was doing.) Seems to me that the original posted was all wet and either one of the most ignorant folks I have ever heard of, or like Mimiboop said, just pulling our leg, trying to start a problem. Sad to think her life is that boring, me, I just don't have time for that stuff. We all know what we do, the importance of it all and the fact that we are needed. We do not need anyone else to justify what we do, we know the difference we make in the lives of those we touch. Sad to say this young lady doesn't make a difference to anyone but herself from the sound of it.
  6. by   Nonnie Smith
    Wow! My first time here, and the first post I read woke me up quicker than that pot of coffee that just finished drippin! I was all set to post an impassioned, articulate rebuttal that would make our little student feel lower than the belly of an earthworm, but all of ya'll beat me to it!

    Way to go, Nurses!

    I think it takes a special person to work LTC---and if you're in it for the money, you may as well go home! Take it as a given that I agree with all you said, about the joys and rewards of geriatrics, and also the problems we face.

    And that's what I'd like to address, not to the lady who started this discussion, but to all of you, who so obviously know of what you speak, and "care".

    Let's be very honest, here. All Homes are NOT created equally, and even in the BEST of them, we face staff shortages, and frequently a higher resident to staff ratio than we're comfortable with, even on the rare times we ARE "fully staffed".

    As a for instance---the last place I worked was a owner operated, 188 bed facility. The owners were fantastic, and the residents, to them, were PEOPLE, not faceless facts and figures on a corporate profit sheet. If there was anything a resident needed, and simply no one to pay for it---they would buy it, themselves. I saw it happen---I know!

    We actually had a more CNAs assigned than State required. The focus of the place was ALWAYS on quality resident care, and we were deficiency-free for the last two years.

    BUT---working 3-11, I had 53 residents to care for. There was a floating supervisor I could call on for help, if things got REALLY hairy, assuming, of course, she wasn't already tied up on one of the other three Halls!

    Of those 53 residents, only 3 could be considered basically independant with ADLs---many were total care, and Lawd! did I have wanderers!

    Don't get me wrong---I loved it, because it WAS a good place to work. We were encouraged to make any changes that would improve care---and no mention was ever made of 'cost'. The CNAs were educated to be active team members, to report even a vague feeling that something was off with one of their residents, and thanks to them, I could go home at night knowing I'd done my job, and done it well.

    Unfortunately---I've found, since moving to a rural area of Louisian, that perhaps that place was the exception, rather than the rule.

    And even there---I really needed less residents to care for!

    Yes---nursing homes are highly regulated, changes are being made, and most of them are good ones.

    But there's alot of room left for more changes, and we as nurses should carry our roles of patient advocate a step farther.

    WE are the ones who should be supporting legislation, and lobbying for needed changes, in my opinion. We work there---we know the love and caring a good staff gives, but we also know the problems that still need to be addressed.

    We also know---there are some bad places out there. Be honest, Ladies---you've heard of them---maybe, you've even worked at them a while.

    Until adequate staffing and quality resident care is what is demanded by EVERYONE involved with LTC---families, staff, physicians, management---we won't get the respect we deserve, and the residents won't get the care they deserve, on a universal basis.
  7. by   Rustyhammer
    Good Morning Nurses,
    This is my first time to this site and liked the empassioned response that I saw defending LTC. I am a LPN (working still on that RN) who works an alzheimers unit. I've worked the nursing homes for 15 years nursing and as a CNA for a couple before that.
    Anyway, I'll be checking in from time to time. I hope I figure out how to work and find the posts. You all seem like a neat bunch of people.
  8. by   Tim-GNP
    I agree with ComicRN and company--- you have a great deal left to learn.

    In my experience, families have a lot of unrealistic expectations regarding nursing home care and it's role in the trajectory of their loved ones health and longevity. I have seen patients admitted to the Alzheimers unit with the expectation that "this is a special unit... grandma(pa) will get well soon and come home." This usually happens because doctors don't often educate families regarding death and dying.

    Nursing home patients are older and sicker than they have ever been. The majority of what I do is damage control and minimizing suffering. Look to your books for this one:

    An end stage CRF and CHF--- the BUN/Creatinine climbs, you treat with IV therapy- the abudence of fluid throws them into an acute exacerbation of CHF... how do you treat? Diuretics... which, then cause the BUN and Creatinine to go off the charts again. Let's muddy the waters even further... the progressive nephrosclerosis that's been caused by this patient's HTN is fueling a wonderful normochromic/normocytic anemia [remember, the kidneys produce erythrpoieten]. So, you have a patient with poor oxygen transport to begin with, poor cardiac status and poor renal function. What do you do there? How do you cure this patient? I'll save you a trip to the text book.... you can't, you NEVER will. All you can do is assure comfort and educate the family as to the trajectory of the disease process.

    This is what I mean about the poor job that most nursing programs do in teaching generic students about Gerontology. I pray that nursing programs would look at the students they are turning out and pay attention to demographics of our population and add Gerontology as a requirement [I don't mean this integrated crap either, where geriatrics gets a commercial in the last 5 minutes of class, either...I mean a whole semester of it!]. Maybe then we wouldn't have the poor antagonistic attitudes that currently prevail.
  9. by   Barbara Rose
    this is the 2nd time I have read all the posts, and I have to tell you; the reason there are fewer responses is because you guys have already said it all. The elderly are great, and anyone in nursing in this day and age needs to know and enjoy them cause in the future, that's going to be 80 percent of the work load. And, while there are many who are demented, depressed, or just so sickly that life is no longer a blessing, there are that many more who are wonderful human beings and need us to stay in touch and alive. There is nothing else to add.
  10. by   Heather Plate
    I also reread the responses and I know that I am lucky to be part of such a intellegent and caring group!! I think we were well represented with all the comments, thanks LTC nurses!!
  11. by   realnursealso/LPN
    Well let me tell you about when my Grandma was in a nursing home. She was not drugged up. You see she had a grandaughter who is a nurse. If she was put on any drug for pain or whatever, I looked it up and monitored her reactions to it. If it diminished Grandma's realitiy at all I made sure the drug was D'ced. Urine smell? No way...I live in NY state and such conditions are not put up with. And no good facility would have it that way either. We all started clinicals in nursing homes and it's not always pleasant and smelling of roses, but don't degrade a wonderful, dedicated group of professionals, just because you don't think you would like to work in geriatrics. I think maybe you need a little more experience...the elderly still have so much to give...sit down and listen...because they were once your age too. Also the geriatric field is a specialty unto it's own. Lab values and such are all different....and to be a good nurse in that field you need to learn alot. Don't discount something just because you don't understand. It is alot of work to give meds to 40 people and make sure each person gets the right med. I have done geriatrics in the past and I love the elderly and have the upmost respect for people who choose that as their specialty. Thank you to all the geriatic nurses. And Grandma? She stayed lucid til the early morning of her death...she was 93. She apparently woke at 4am and asked for her beloved peanut butter, toast, and chocoilate ice cream. The wonderful nurses got it for her....she ate some of each.....and then took a turn for the worst. They called us...but I didn't make it in time to hold her hand, but her nurse did. And my fellow professionals all had lots of hugs for me, to comfort me because of Grandma 's death. So please don't judge something that you don't understand. Study hard.
  12. by   jimmieN
    This post is most upsetting. I started my career as a CNA in a Long Term Care facility. I learned that these people are not pieces of meat, but they are real people. I also realize that this post was not meant to demean or belittle the nursing profession. The mistake here is the inexperience of the person making the post. You are the person, if you graduate, that will need to make the "public" aware of our needs and problems. You also need to approach people as human beings and not objects to be discarded. If you think this way, why are you trying to join this profession? I know i am in the minority in nursing (being a male) and I have respect for almost every nurse I have worked with because they work as hard or harder than I. I love this profession and whether I am in long term care or on a med surg floor, these people mean a great deal to me,and the people I work with. I would hope that you would readdress this issue with yourself, and rethink your reasons for entering this most noble of professions.

    Jimmie LVN
  13. by   bigred
    This is a topic that hits home to me big time. I find it very unsettling to think that there are more than just the author of this topic that veiws nursing home and the elderly in the manner in which shehas described. Hats off to all of you who have already responded and told her what it's all about. I have worked in LTC since 1975. I have worked in 2 LTC facilities and volunteered in one. They all had high standards including the home I am working at presently. I have worked "here" for 17 years. We have to cross our t's and dot our i's or we are dismissed. Our residents are cared for in every way. Most importantly, they are loved. My advice to the author of this subject is to read over all these excellent posts carefully and take a long hard look at yourself before you spend one more day in nursing school. I think that your nursing instructors have their work cut out for them.