When I worked in the ER, it seemed as if we had certain times of the month when it was nothing but nursing home residents sent to our ER for "evaluation". Many times I would take report from the LTC nurse and jotted down the signs and symptoms all the while thinking "not another one!" Or "my gosh, can't you nurses take care of these people..." the list goes on.
Well, I have left the ER and acute care setting and guess where I'm working? that's right LTC.
My first few weeks on a skilled unit in LTC was a real eye opener for me. I began using skills I had not seen in the five years I was in actue care....namely, G-tubes, PICC lines, some awesome dressing changes, Vents, trachs. One thing I missed more than anything was my monitors!!! I didnt' have them to help me monitor my patient er... resident. I didn't have the luxury of any of the great new machines and tools that I had available in the hospital. I had to learn the 'basics' all over again. I had to use my wits, I had to follow my gut instincts, I had to learn to watch for the changes in my residents. and the PAPER WORK is unbelievable. But now where in my nursing career have I found greater satisfaction.
It is hard work, just because its' LTC does not make it easy. I am grateful for my acute care experience, I can't imagine working in LTC without it!
Your right, the state requires so much from LTC facilities. So many requirements. We are held ACCOUNTABLE for the care of the residents and must prove everything.
Your so right, every nursing job is important. It makes no difference if your in LTC, ER, ICU or any other acute care setting. I wish some of my former collegues could come to work with me just one shift, they would certainly get their eyes opened and when they take that call from the LTC nurse, I'll bet they would treat her with a lot more respect.
Thanks for your post, it needed to be said.