Does anyone really enjoy LTC?

  1. I've always wanted to be a nurse but I wasn't sure, if I was cut out to be one. At my mothers suggestion I took CNA training. I LOVED caring for the residents. I knew right away I wanted to go to nursing school and work in a LTC or assisted living.
    That was back in 2002, I never got the opportunity to work beyond my training, despite being hired by the facility I trained in. (My son was diagnosed with a wilms tumor a week after my training ended. He good now !!)
    I have gotten back on track and I am taking my prerequisites for the LVN program. But every time the subject of "where do you want to work" comes up, everyone including professors, former CNA's, graduated LVN's going on to RN's are always negative saying "you'll hate it", "you weren't there long enough to see the bad", "if you go LVN you'll be trapped there too" it's all meds"
    It's really been getting into my head. Does anyone out there really enjoy LTC as I did?
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    About ihollie

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 3

    53 Comments

  3. by   ITsurvivor06
    You just need to get into a good facility. I am a new LPN, graduated Dec 06. I am working in LTC and I really like it. The only drawback for me is that they do not always schedule enough aides. My hall has 18 residents, plus if a QMAis working another hall I have to approve her PRN meds, do her insulins, etc. Expect that you will be running all day or all evening and you will be fine. I love the fact I am working in the residents' home--there is plenty of opportunity to get to know and love your residents. But be prepared--you will be the one responsible to keep assessing and reassessing. The doctors are not there to do it and will often rely on you to tell them what the resident needs, unlike in the hospital where they do daily rounds and you pretty much follow their orders. In that respect there is more responsibility and accountability in LTC. Most of the negativity you hear probably stemsfrom chronic understaffing and nightmare nurse-patient ratios. Again, research the facilities before you apply. Get into a good one and it can be a very rewarding experience. There ARE good facilities out there; you don't have to settle for a "bad" one. Expect to work hard--no one ever said nursing was easy! Good luck!
  4. by   RN BSN 2009
    good facility is hard to find, but if you shop around you should be able to find one
  5. by   banditrn
    Yes, there are aspects of LTC that I enjoy - and parts that I don't - just like the hospital.

    I agree with the others - a GOOD facility is a must! Who would know? The people that currently work there. Do they have a high turn-over in staff?

    A good orientation is a must - none of this 3 day stuff!
  6. by   wefdm21
    I think most people will try not to discourage you and some may be honest, but read the other posts that are on this board right now. Most of them say the same thing. I'll I will say is do the research like others have said and be extremely careful.
  7. by   Gromit
    Even though I have NEVER had an interest in working LTC, I would certainly never discourage anyone else who showed an interest in it. They would be just as any other work environment -there are good ones and there are bad ones. Much of the class-time will center around bedside nursing like the kind you see in typical hospital-type facilities, not LTC. Consequently, even those who know nothing (firsthand) about LTCs will pick up the anit-LTC vibe and speak out against them.
    Think about it for a minute. YOU already KNOW what you want to get into, and it sounds like you have some experience in them already (or did I misread that?) -ignore them, follow your dream. If you decide you don't like it, you can still apply to a 'regular' hospital-type environment. Thats the beauty about this field, its open. Go where you like -odds are good that they will have an opening.
  8. by   robpritc
    Hi, I am not in nursing school yet, but it is my dream, and I am getting closer to that goal. I am signing up for a couple prereq's for this summer at our local community college. Anyway, I WANT to work in LTC/nursing homes, etc., always have. It is where I feel comfortable. I honestly love that generation. I also feel (from experience when 2 of my grandparents were in nursing homes), there are not enough RNs/aides, etc. that truly care about these patients. The one I ran across seemed to be there just for the "job." I want to be there for the patient's and their families.

    Good luck! I think because it is what you want, you will be an excellent LTC nurse.

    Robin
  9. by   BigB
    Quote from robpritc
    Hi, I am not in nursing school yet, but it is my dream, and I am getting closer to that goal. I am signing up for a couple prereq's for this summer at our local community college. Anyway, I WANT to work in LTC/nursing homes, etc., always have. It is where I feel comfortable. I honestly love that generation. I also feel (from experience when 2 of my grandparents were in nursing homes), there are not enough RNs/aides, etc. that truly care about these patients. The one I ran across seemed to be there just for the "job." I want to be there for the patient's and their families.

    Good luck! I think because it is what you want, you will be an excellent LTC nurse.

    Robin
    I actually had a very bad experience with LTC that will scar me for life. 47 patients...and me as the only LVN. I had a couple good CNA's the rest took 2 hour breaks and were lazy and didnt answer thier call lights. Things to consider BEFORE taking a lvn job in LTC. You will be dealing with angry family members who will blame you for problems. You will have to juggle many things at once (pass meds, answer the phone, call the dr about labs) ALL AT THE SAME time!!! It is a stressful enviornement and most LTC facilities are understaffed. It is a not a good enviornement for a new nurse as your license will be on the line ever day. First thing to do is ask about the staffing ratios and talk to nurses there about the job before you except it. HAd I known the two nurses before me only lasted 2 weeks each... i would have never taken that job. Run, dont walk away from bad LTC. Unfortunatly, most are on the bad side. Shop around.
  10. by   SummerGarden
    I'm enjoying my semester in LTC!!! I absolutely love it and enjoy the residents. And no, I have not had all "nice" residents. The challenging ones make my day too. :spin:
  11. by   mustanggirl
    LTC was a wonderful place to start out. A lot of times it is downplayed as a god place to work, but I disagree. Especially while going to nursing school, you name it you see it in long-term care so it was interesting to learn about the different diagnosis and see them first hand. You do get to know your patients well the good and bad of patients but with that it you have a little more background on where your patients are coming from. That said the stress of the numerous patients you have daily and being the voice for that many patients while trying to just get their pills passed let alone treatments done is high. I enjoyed long term care while I did it, and at times miss it but I can honestly say I don't regret going into a different area of nursing and feel as though I have found a niche. As someone else said with nursing your fields are wide open if you decide you want to try a different area.
  12. by   kmwlpn
    i've worked ltc since i got out of nursing school, and have never really wanted to do anything else....however, it is not the best field to go into if you want to learn alot of new things and gain more experience...i really wished i would of started my nursing career in a hospital..in order to learn more....
    i will say that with the earlier discharges and more skilled residents we recieve, i have got the chance to learn more and more about different aspects of care...such as picc lines...iv meds...wound care....in the past year...which has been great...
    i will agree with the fact that it is all about passing pills....and we do pass alot of pills...just when you think the med pass is done the prn medications start...
    but the residents are great, for the most part...you will either love it or hate it..all i can say is try and see...
  13. by   myrlpie
    I have been a LPN at a LTC facility for 16 years, since I got out of school. I have no desire to work anywhere else. There are times I get so frustrated, that I think about quitting, but I hang in there. You grow to love your residents and they love you. They depend on you to take care of them. Do I enjoy it? I would have to say yes.
  14. by   jjjoy
    Chronic understaffing I think is what you need to watch for. It's unfortunately all too common and the person hiring you won't tell you if it's a problem. Since you already know that you like the patient population and the environment, you're a step ahead. Long before you need to start looking for LPN work, start finding out what places are good places to work and which ones aren't. Ask about shadowing. Ask about ratios. Can you talk to the nurses at the facility you were a aide at? They should have insight about the local job market. Let the good facilities know that you're working on earning your nursing degree and would be interested in working there. That might help you when it comes to choosing between you and another new nurse. Doing these things will also help alleviate your fear that only bad LTC positions await you upon graduation.

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