RN's exiting from aged care postions - page 3

I was having a conversation with a fellow RN today who is trying to do some research on the number of RN's who are leaving the aged care/ gerontology areas - I mentioned this particular BB and... Read More

  1. by   adrienurse
    You know, if it were only for the residents, I would stay in my job forever. I love the elderly. I love just talking with them, taking care of them, loving them -- but the work is just so frustrating. The system stinks. People come to us after having one crisis after another and they have a lot of battle scars. The families give us a hard time because most of the time they have no other option then to put their loved ones in a home.

    The bulk of the work that we do, do isn't seen by the public and the things they do see are often the parts that are neglected due to time constraints. I have to work with aides who are used to being abused and mistreated and underpaid and thus see me as a threat. The care environments are poorly designed and noisy and we have to deal with things like floor polishers running in the middle of meal times.

    I bust my ass everyday, but this goes unrecognized because if nursing is intangeable, geriatric nursing is invisible. I am not given time to devote to the work of nursing because someone is constantly standing at the desk because I "don't look busy". If I complain about the neglectfulness or sloppy work of co-workers, I am being hostile and hypercritical, if I don't I am being negligent in my duties.

    I could go on and on.....
  2. by   VivaLasViejas
    After being fired from my last job as a resident care manager, I've come to the reluctant decision to leave LTC for good, or at least the foreseeable future. That job nearly cost me my sanity, and for all the hours and blood, sweat & tears I put in I never saw the slightest improvement in resident care. It wasn't unusual for me to put in 11-14 hours a day, do 8-10 MDSs and sets of RAPs, update the care plans daily, do walking rounds several times a day, answer questions, attend meetings, investigate innumerable incident reports for everything from falls to insect bites, and so on......but the residents still didn't get turned, they weren't given enough time for meals, toileted often enough, taken to activities like they should, or assessed for pain every shift. I could've done paperwork until my fingers bled, and not one thing would've been different for them. Even when I was a charge nurse, I couldn't spend quality time with the residents because the schedule was so tight that a single incident, like a fall, threw off everything for the entire shift. The entire system sucks........so what do the government and the companies that run these places do, but invent still more paperwork, then cut staff and resources?

    I feel terrible for abandoning elder care, because I love the little old people so well, and I think they are getting the shaft from a system they paid into their entire lives. But I'm 44 years old, and I've still got another 20+ working years ahead of me---I can't afford to let myself get used up just yet, and I'm tired of beating my head against a wall trying to work within a system that chews caregivers AND clients up and spits them out. I'm thankful there are others out there who aren't willing to give up, and I salute you all for it.
  3. by   mageean
    A very interesting discussion. I have been in Elderly care (mental health) for 25years and despite a number of positive changes this care group remain significantly disadvantaged for a number of reasons(in my opinion)
    . It is not seen as a Speciality in it's own right
    . There is a huge lack of investment
    . Student nurses do not get sufficient exposure to Elderly care as the colleges tend to route them to the more "sexier" acute areas.
    . Elderly care is bloody hard work as you need to pay a great deal of attention to both Physical and psychological needs.
    . Pay is poor when you consider the demands of the job
    .Society appears not to have the respect it once did for older people.

    I could go on but get depressed thinking about it but am grateful for the committment and passion shown by those who work in this ared of care.
    Remember we will all get old soon!! and will expect a decent standard of life and care in our later years.
  4. by   StormyCD
    I've always thought, what goes around, comes around. And I've been blessed with great caregivers for several of my family members over the last few years, in hospital settings and ltc. One of my biggest pet peeves is the EMS who think that these people shouldn't go to the emergency room because they are old, or they are DNR's...I don't know how many times I've reported this attitude to their superiors....What ever the case is, every resident has the right to emergency care, even if all they do is blood work, x-rays and give Antibiotics!!....Every time I think I can't take any more of the stress I remember two things, 1)who will take care of them if I am gone? 2) You can't change the system from the outside! I understand why very good nurses leave ltc, I can't blame them either. I invite you all to check out my facility in Big Spring Texas, we have a wonderful D.O.N.! and we are 3 nurses short right now. The pay is good, and my D.O.N. will back you up 100% if you're in the right of a situation. No, we're not perfect, but with a few more caring nurses and we could be. (like the ones I've seen posting here) My email is treasa@swris.com.... at least think about it.....thank you all...it's very good therapy to be able to vent to someone who knows exactly what I'm going through!!
  5. by   Tookie
    I am pleased to see that this thread has continued to create some discussion -

    But isnt it sad that we all who have worked in this area feel the frustration of being unable to deliver the care that the elderly deserve -

    I continue to think because the elderly are not valued in our society - most people dont want to know unitl it affects 'them'

    well unless they are in an acute seting - that is until they are then seen as bed blockers no one wants to know - even less they dont want to know about those who truly care for them

    I continue to think that it is important for people like ourselves who value the aged and ourselves who do the caring must bring it to the attention of the public - and that the other nurses in the acute areas need to support us and see our value too.

    I have been on holidays - and have not thought about work - though read in our local paper today the NSW government is increasing nurses wages - thats great - because fo the shortage etc - but will the parity roll onto the aged care sector - l hope so - but l am not holding my breath

    I like many of my coworkers get tired of the negativity that abounds - it makes it hard to go back to work at times - however l am lucky l do work in a good facility - I just wisg that people world wide valued what we do more.

    Sorry didnt mean to sound so negative - thank you for responding everyone -

    I guess we should ask too how can we improve our image and peoples response to the aged and those who work in our industry - now l feel that l am rabbiting on

    Cheers Tookie
  6. by   sassynurse78
    I am an LPN, but I have seen both RN's and LPN's leave the LTC facility where I work, usually the reason being "I don't have to put up with this" the this is usually all the same things from everyone:long hours, too much overtime, no respect, not enough staff,the ridiculous family members, and the staying late to finish all the charting required for the shift.
  7. by   Tookie
    What you have just said sounds exactly like conversations l here all the time 'down under'
    I continually try and bloster peoples spirits - (its a part of my role l guess) - I try to put out the bushfires - metoprohrically speaking (more often referred to as the grapevine) l try and work on who are we really herr for - the residents - the elderley the people who gave us our heritage - however l too get to the point of why do l do this ---- then something ' nice' happens and it helps -
    i get back to my main thougts - until the government values us and the community in general wont as well - untill they value the aged in our care will they ever value the nurses who care?
  8. by   StormyCD

    I think you are VERY RIGHT about the elderly not getting enough respect or care they deserve, and the staff doesn't get the recognition or respect for our field of work. ..I also think that if the staff doesn't respect themselves or their work then it will never get to where WE want it to be.,,So I try my best to let all my co-workers know when they do a good job, by them a coke, or a meal, nothing fancy, sometimes it's just Sonic, they seem to appreciate the effort, My D.O.N. tries to let them know too...if we can make the good CNA's feel they are appreciated and are doing a good job, and we treat them with respect, they will be more likely to stay. And when someone asks them where they work they will be more proud to say" I work at C....Nursing Home..."

    I guess my point is If WE and our co-workers value our profession and respect ourselves more, then the world would have to look at us differently, wouldn't they??

    just rattling on here...LOL


    P.S....I was serious about checking out my facility to work in...it really is a nice place...;0)
  9. by   Tookie
    Stormy fully appreciate what you have said so well

    'I guess my point is If WE and our co-workers value our profession and respect ourselves more, then the world would have to look at us differently, wouldn't they?? '
  10. by   StormyCD

    thanks, i wasn't really sure it came out to say what I wanted, But I guess it did. It's something I really believe in. Another thought that actually came from husband when we decided that I needed to get out of ICU and ER for a while, I had sworn I'd never work in a nursing home again after working in one in a different town when I was younger and a Certified Nurses Aide, we were treated horribly, But my husband made this comment and it changed everything for me, "You can't change it from the outside"..

    thanks again
  11. by   Tookie
    It is very hard
    - We have a fortnightly newsletter in our organisation that comes out woth our pays - l am trying not to oly nclude eduaction inforamtion ie dementia etc but would like thi year to try and put in photos - we have a digital camera of photos of the staff at every day (non steressful type activites) We without getting into the union type stuff have a supportive union who at the moment is REALLY trying to actively raise the profile of aged care nursing (someof this is because we are lossing skilled nurses to the acute ssector - another story)
    It is only through people like yourself whpo try - TRY and remiain positive and find the good thing in their choice of work and work within the system that WILL make it better
    posiitve thoughts to you
  12. by   night owl
    It's all about money (the root of all evil).....no matter how hard you try in doing anything in LTC. You can only do so much and when you feel you're burning out, it's time to get out. You can't fight it. Regulations will always be there, short staffing will always be there, the poor attitudes will always be there, management who do what they're told and only care about keeping the budget at a minimum for a bonus aren't going anywhere. I feel that the elderly are getting ripped off so badly, that most of the upper eschelon need to be in jail for doing their job which is taking advantage of our elderly by taking everything they own for lousy
    half-azzed care. These people need to be put in nursing homes and made to be treated just one week like our seniors....Their attitudes might change, but as long as someone is getting rich off of these old feeble people who also control the regulations of keeping staffing to an absolute minimum to put more money in their pockets, not giving a rats azz about what it really takes to properly care for "old people," (and it doesn't take hours and hours of mindless paper work) things aren't going to change. Your job will always be just that......a job. It's those people we need to go after. And who are these people??? The government! Not many people want to fight them. They make the rules and regulations...why????? BECAUSE THEY CAN. It's these people who will never feel the impact of being in a nursing home because they have the money to be taken care of at home by private nurses for themselves AND their loved ones when the time comes....Part of the bennies of the job paid for by ripping off the public with their corruptions. How do these criminals sleep at night I'll never know, but one day they will have to meet their high and exaultant ruler and I pity them. The bottom line is money, the bottom line will ALWAYS be money and that will NEVER change......EVER! So keep your chins up, keep hope alive and keep the faith and stop fighting the system...It's an endless battle. You can't bolster people's spirits when yours is gone with the wind.
  13. by   Shiraz
    Interesting point Tookie, of why so little RN's stay in LTC. I am far to discriminate towards LPN's because many have taught me alot and still continue to do so. I too, was a victim of going into supervisory work right after I got my RN. After a 2 year history of dealing with issues very much like the above posts, I went back into hands on SNF nursing. I'm much happier caring for the patients dispite alot of day to day problems.

    I'm an agency nurse and a LTC nurse. I go to different facilities and lately I have taken an interest of "Where have all the RN's Gone"....sounds like a song...

    One facility has 4 and that includes the DON. As I recall regulations state you need to have an RN in the house at all times. So how do they get around that? They call me...and still pay me LPN wages through my agency. Better than staying at home.

    Another of which is the same company is very much the same and they even use Med-Techs. Which starts another scenario. Before an LPN can work if theres an RN. And now a Med-tech can work if theres an LPN.

    I too, would like to see some numbers of how many RN's take boards, pass and work in the field.

    Seems around here we eventually go full circle and meet again in another place.

    Keep this thread going Tookie....I enjoy ready the posts!!