I am an ADON in a not for profit LTC. It is true that staffing is getting to be a problem and we are all going to have to be creative to find ways to care for our residents. I have had the opportunity to discuss this subject with several different sets of nurses - from Vice President level to staff nurse. I know some facilities are taking a closer look at using Medicationa Assistants (A CNA who has been trained to pass PO meds.) And have the nurse do the assessing and charting and whatever. This will be only as good as your staff. Medication Assistants can be very good use of time, if you have enough CNAs to do the work. I have heard others talking about doing some advance training of CNAs enable them to do more of the vital signs and simple treatments. Again this works if there are enough. Where are we going to find staff to fill these positions. I hear from one part of the country that they have CNAs and no nurses, and others have nurses and no CNAs.
I find that some of the nurses I have recently hired do not have a lot of time management skills which throws everybody off. One of the nurses I correspond with in GA says the new grads that they have hired are not doing all that well either. Here in the Greater Milwaukee area, I have heard nurses talking about how many nurses are graduating but we do not know where they are going. Hospitals would be my guess. With all that I hear about Mandatory Overtime in hospitals I do not understand why.
I think those of us in LTC need to do something to promote ourselves. Nurse like to think that they have autonomy, I doubt that in a hospital. Think of the autonomy that our nurses in LTC have. they have to be good because that MD is not going to be there on a daily basis. It is the nurse who holds things together.
As you can read, I don't have answers, I only ask more questions. I help out my nurses to the best of my ability. I hope it is enough to keep them from leaving. We do not have mandatory overtime, and we have probably been at our minimum staffing 3 times in the past month. Which I do not think is too bad. I know they say they are short, I keep reminding them that the key word is minimum.
feel free to e-mail me maybe we can solve the problems....more likely we will continue to ask questions. NA