Its really NOT a fate worse then death

  1. I now work in LTC, 7 years, after a 10 year stint in acute care.
    My question/comment is, WHY do some people act as if working in LTC is a fate worse then death? I'm sure there are plenty of sub-standard, poorly run facilities around the country, but they aren't all bad and working in LTC can actually be a lot better then acute care.
    Is there anyone else who feels as I do about working LTC?
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    About KRSLPN

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 70; Likes: 83


  3. by   Nascar nurse
    Yep, I sure do! I've been in LTC since 1985. Decided to get out of it once long ago. Got myself a job offer in acute care - turned my notice in a work - thought about it for a day - declined the offer and took back my resignation. Have never regretted that decision.

    I'm a LTC nurse and proud of it!
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    While I've never worked in LTC, my mother has been a LTC patient for a few years now. Most of her nurses (and everyone else) have been so good to her, and to me. One of her nurses was a year behind me in high school and has worked in the same nursing home for over 30 years. She loves it there -- loves her patients, coworkers, everything. It shows -- she does a terrific job.

    I'm in ICU. I know that patience is a virtue -- but it's one I don't have. I couldn't do LTC, and I know it. It's a personal failing of mine that I lack the patience for that sort of work. I am grateful for and very respectful of those who CAN to LTC and who do it well. ICU is a specialty, but so is LTC and THIS ICU nurse is fully aware of how difficult the job of a LTC nurse can be and of how relatively little respect you get. As far as I'm concerned, LTC nurses are just as deserving of respect as ICU nurses, if not more so. You take care of our parents when we can't. How awesome is that?!
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    I love it when LTC nurses talk about enjoying their jobs.
  6. by   JUSTanLPN
    When I graduated from LPN program in aug 2011 I started work immediately at a LTC facility. I absolutely fell in love with my residents. I haven't worked in LTC in over a year but I promise I think about those residents at least twice a week. It has potential to be very rewarding that's for sure.

    P.s. I'm only 24 and a male so needless to say I stuck out there lol
  7. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Remember what they used to say about Ginger Rogers: she had to do everything Fred Astaire did except she had to do it backwards and on high heels.
    LTC nurses have to do what acute care nurses do except we do it with a 20:1 ratio instead of a 5:1 ratio and without any doctors in the building.
    We make a difference in someone's life every day.
  8. by   JBMmom
    I think that part of it is that the focus of most nursing school programs is acute care in the hospital setting. I didn't have a day of experience in LTC before I started my job two months ago. Honestly, LTC wasn't my first choice, but it's where I'm at and I enjoy it more than I had expected. So much of the nursing profession is so defensive about SO MANY issues, just ignore them because you'll never please everyone. If you're happy in your job as a nurse, you're a nurse, same as a trauma nurse, ER nurse, ICU nurse, dialysis nurse, school nurse, corrections nurse etc- we are all in different environments, but there's no reason to disrespect anyone's position because it's not what you do.
  9. by   bebbercorn
    I don't know why it's looked at like that... I can tell you I write them off because my future plans include CNM/WHNP and the population doesn't fit with my future goals. I think part of it is the assumption that LTC is all "old, crabby people." When I got into nursing I realized I love old people, just like pregnant ladies more.
  10. by   Marshall1
    Nursing schools - at least when I went - spent little time on anything other than acute care and hospital focused nursing - that's part of it. Another part for some people is nursing homes are viewed as depressing and all the media ever seems to put out there is the neglect/abuse stories which only underscore what people both in and out of healthcare think about the facilities. If you read about the surveys Medicare posts most LTC are rated low..which I'm not saying is fair or accurate but if you are a family member or someone job seeking and see this I'd think you'd be less inclined to go to that particular facility. The term "nursing home" also has negative connotations so I try to always use "Long Term Care" as it sounds less negative - at least to me. Many people do not realize what a LTC facility offers or the work load the nurses, CNA and other staff members are placed under all day everyday.
    There also seems to be a generation disconnect..people don't know how to interact with the elderly or are afraid of them or as one nurse told me a long time ago she would leave nursing before ever working in a "nursing home" because she didn't want to be reminded everyday of what her future was going to be. I disagree with her but if someone's mind is set there is little that can be done to change in.
    In the coming decade the demand for LTC is going to would behoove those working in it and those responsible for marketing their facilities to look at ways to try and help change the perception the general public, media and yes, even healthcare providers, have of this venue. Remember Johnson & Johnson doing the nursing profession ads? Too bad someone can't get out there and do something like that for LTC.
  11. by   proud nurse
    I worked in LTC for 7 years. Had my good nocs and bad nocs. People have told me that LTC nurses lose their skills and are glorified pill pushers. Or better yet, said a 3rd shift nurse in LTC was a babysitter.

    If they only knew...
  12. by   RNperdiem
    How much status a nursing specialty has is related to how much the patient population is valued by the society.
    In the US, youth and health and independence is valued. LTC is the land of the frail, dependent and chronically ill elderly.
    If you work in mental health, prison or long term care, the patient population will have lots of people without power or status.
  13. by   BSNbeauty
    I've worked in ER, CVICU, School health and LTC. I've never felt more like a real nurse than I did when working in LTC. In the hospital, a patient codes and you have your beautiful code cart and monitors and drugs and 15 people in the room working together to save a life. In LTC it is you and a cna or two. There is no doc or resp. therapists there 24/7. That resident depends on you and only you.
  14. by   BrandonLPN
    I totally agree that nursing schools play a large part in this negative perception of LTC. The emphasis is skewed so heavily toward hospitals it isn't funny. Nursing students are hit over the head with the notion that "real" nurses work in the hospital. They need more clinicals in skilled nursing facilities and sub acute care. Espeically since all indicators point toward these areas, not the hospital, will be were the major growth is.

    I enjoy my LTC job. And if I ever transfer to acute care, any smart manager would realize my LTC background is a plus, not a liability. LTC teaches you to be fast, efficient and resourceful. Being able to spot and treat a brewing case of pneumonia or CHF exacerbation during a 40-resident med pass is no small feat. It's something only a "real" nurse could do.