LULU: I will tell you as much as I can. A lot of facilities are different, but the routine should basically be the same no matter where you go. I will go through a typical first shift day. But first you should ask a few questions:
1. will you be on a skilled or subacute unit?
2. Do the nurses float? Or do you stay on the same unit?
3. What is their actual staffing ratio after call-ins are accounted for?
4. Is there on-call time?
5. Ask to meet the Director of nursing.
6. Tour the building (maybe on off hours before an interview). This will give you a good idea of the actual staffing and general attitude of the staff. Also, you will be able to tell if the resdients are actually cared for.
7. Ask about in-house acquired wounds as well as weight loss. This can tell you alot about the facility. A high ratio of in- house acquired wounds usually indicates a lack of turning or caring or staffing. Sometimes it is just what it is though. It can be just that there are a lot of very ill end-stage residents.
You can expect 2 med passes on day shift. Usually a heavy one at 8am or 9am. This will generally consume a 2-hour time period. Your med pass then at noon or 1pm should take 1/2 hour to 1-hour. You will have treatments to complete and this varies facility to facility. Then you also have required assessments and documentation that can seem daunting. You will have doctors calls and families talking with you-sometimes at length.
On top of all of this you will have various meetings that you may be required to attend. And most of all, you have nursing assistants that you must supervise and assure they are doing their jobs.
This is just a rough listing and does not include everything. It may seem overwhelming, but once you get a routine and you learn the residents, it will become second nature.
I am sure that you will hear a lot of negative things about long term care, but please realize that it is very rewarding. I enjoy it with all of my heart and have been at it for 10. There are days when I wonder why, but I think that you have that with any job. I would never give it up for anything. This is where I started and where I will end. It is worth it!!!!!!!!!!!! We need good hearted and committed nurses in long term care. I hope that you do try it and learn to love it!!!!!!!!!