Why dont we get respect as LTC nurses? - page 3

Hi everyone, I am hoping for some input to a questions that has been really burning my butt. I am a new nurse, and recently switched from med-surg at a local hospital (loved the job, hated the 12... Read More

  1. by   speckleddove
    it is a very simple explanation as to why they don't respect us.
    because they have no clue as to all the duties and patient loads we are faced with daily.

    yes, i too have had that experience.
    i applied for a nusing position on a med/surg. floor in a local hospital.
    they had my resume and believe me resumes are not my strong suit.

    i detailed every duty and tiltle i held in ltc.
    they called me in for an interview.

    man was i insulted and angry, so angry i had to clench my jaws.

    after all the detailed lisiting in my resume.
    she asked if i had tube feeding experience, cather insertion, ng tube experience and i knew at that second, she had not even looked at my resume!

    she made some snotty comment about making a ltc nurse a real nurse and chuckled.
    and sneered her nose up and said in med / surg.or in any hospital setting, we need people with experience in these skills and that won't cry about a patient load of 8.

    she said, just what do you ltc nurses do all day?

    talk about blowing my top.
    i firmly filled her in on the fact that every ltc nurses skills were equal to what hospital nurses do and then some.

    i also made it very clear that i took offense to her having requested me to give long drawn out detailed job descriptions in a resume and her having not even bothering to read it.

    i said if you want to cry about patient loads, how about giving them 50 + patient per nurse, every dang day for their entire shift!
    man was i p off.

    i rattled off all the duties we ltc nurses do every day.

    and when i finally took a breath, i said i'm sorry but i just don't think your educated enough to interview ltc nurses or cnas and you need to change your attitude!

    i left steaming for weeks over that.
    i did not yell, scream or say nasty things to her but it still wasn't the best way to handle that.

    my cousin also a ltc nurse was scheduled to interview with her the same day.
    my cousin over heard her telling another woman she didn't think ltc staff could do their job.
    so my cousin got up and left without even doing an interview.

    after calming down.
    i realized it is partly our nursing educators fault.

    they place hospitals on this pedestal to nursing students and ignore ltc facilities.

    i think everyone is left with the feeling that only the best nurses can work in a hospital and embed that into our psychy while were in nursing school.

    so i think ltc nurses and ltc cnas need to create public awareness of just what it takes to fill these giant shoes we all fill.
    we need to work to ensure we no longer go un-noticed and un-respected.
    we need a ltc organization with local branches and hang out together and toot our own horns a little.
    set up a little friendly competition between hospital and ltc nurses.
    teach them that we are their equals.
    but i hate the organizations that seem to only want money out of nurses!
    they put on heirs yet do nothing for the nurses and usually begin turning their noses up when any nurse really needs some form of support or guidance.
    it should be free and by donations only.
    having a nursing license of any title should be welcomed and enough of a qualification to join.

    if we want to do things or hand out phamplets, we should work together doing bake sales, arts n crafts, horse shoes, etc.
    not asking each other to shell money we can't really afford.

    god knows we shell out enough cash for our license, ceus and uniforms.

    it should be casual dress, no acting as if your above anyone.
    it should be just a group of nursing friends making new nursing friends.
    sharing what we all have in common, health care.
    not a group of some greedy, egomaniacs trying to impress the public.
    if we cared as much about each other in nursing they way we care about our patients, we would have such a wonderful life working with each other.
    we spend our lives with each other at work, we need to act like the family that we actually are.

    no one seems to have a clue about what we do.

    i spoke with friends and co-workers and strangers about what they thought ltc nurses did.

    only one or two had even a slight idea of what we do.
    and it seems that the general publics opinion of us, is far much more respecting of ltc nurses than our fellow nurses.
  2. by   speckleddove
    Now, after reading your words; I want to work with you.
    That is exactly the way all of should feel and be proud of our skills.
  3. by   suebird3
    Thank you all for being so supportive of each other.

  4. by   speckleddove
    My mother was done the same way.
    I started going with her on every visit and started demanding certain tests, x-rays, etc. be done.
    I had my fill of every new Dr. always wanting to playing with her prednisolone, just to see what happened.
    She had Sarcoidosis.
    She had been on steroids for years and every new Dr. wanted to see how and if lessions developed within her lungs as fast as they had heard about.
    She couldn't breath at all without her prednisolone.
    I put a stop to those games real fast.
    I hate it when people disrespect the elders but for new Dr.s to play games at a patients expence, I turn into a you know what real fast.

    Every older adult had something to do with how our own lives, pleasures,coping mechanisms and teachings came about.

    We have reaped the rewards from everyone, even the mean ones teach us something, even if it is only teaching us how not to be.

    More people need to remember that fact.
  5. by   speckleddove
    your soooo right you are, exactly my sentiments too.
  6. by   speckleddove
    that is an excellent point.
    the only time you hear about us is on a tv special when a nightmare of a facility makes the news.
    and then it's us nurses and cnas that take the blame, no one even thinks about the corporate individuals that created these places and conditions.
    just once i'd like to see the media put them in the hot seat right along with the state agencies that do absolutely nothing to improve conditions nor protect patients.
    public safety, my rear end; the state simply wants to save money for the politicians and hand out fines.

    fines are monies that should be put toward hiring more staff, getting patient supplies, new equipment (like working beds) not some state agencies vaccation funds.
  7. by   Nascar nurse
    Quote from michelle126
    Why can't we have adequate staffing, supplies etc and good nurses in LTC? Many facilites are already short staffed and underbudgeted that firing the "bad nurse that give us all a bad rep" ain't happening. I don't think its the nurses fault...its the large corps running the facilities.
    I agree wholeheartedly with this. In my community anyway, nearly new hospital RN's are making $3-4/hr more than our highest paid experienced RN's. As an MDS nurse, I know what our medicare/medicaide rate is and am constantly pushed to get it as high as possible (and I'm Ok w/ that - it's the job I took). By regional comparisons of sister facilities I have one of the highest rates in northern half of the state. As a result of these efforts.. we have not received any increase in staffing, no additional equipment, no extra raise for me, etc. I am "pumping" out the money system - BUT WHERE DID IT ALL GO (coorporate - I know!) And yes, I agree, I have ran across some really bad and really scary nurses working in LTC and yep, they do give us a horrible reputation at times, but coorporate policy is "no rent a nurses" so who ya gonna get to cover all the shifts?

    It's sad the the public has no idea what we are doing, but it gets real disheartening when other nurses want to label us as losers because we are LTC nurses. Lets walk a mile in each others shoes and then compare the blisters! (Said and meant in good spirits)
  8. by   hogan4736
    Quote from LoriAlabamaRN
    ...See, a lot of ER nurses will judge us by the residents we send out. That's not always fair. If someone has bedsores in this facility, 99% of the time they had them when they were initially sent here. The other times, it's virtually certain that the resident will not allow themself to be turned, which we chart diligently. If a call comes from the ER with questions and whoever answers the phone doesn't know, well, there are 165 residents here. If you get a different nurse than the one assigned to the particular patient, then chances are they are not going to know anything about them...
    If the LTC would call report to the ED, we may not have to call the facility for questions

    I was a w/e sup at a LTC (w/ a SNF)...When I sent a pt to the ED, I called report to the ED charge, and copied :

    face sheet
    H & P
    nurses notes
    treatment logs
    and EVERYTHING else that was pertinent

    I NEVER (in 2 years) received a call from an ED...
  9. by   hogan4736
    let me follow up my above comments...

    I worked ED for 6 years, right out of school...I HATED LTCs...We always received "train wrecks" from them (seemingly)

    I got burned out in the ED, so I took a weekend supervisor job at a LTC/SNF...My eyes were opened indeed!

    I gained instant respect for those that can pass meds AND do treatments for 30-40 patients (with only 4 aides...)

    That being said, I am back in the hospital, working ED...I still notice two things:

    1) report is rarely called to the ED, and there if often LESS than adequate paperwork sent

    2) 911 is OVERUSED from these facilities

    I was the only RN for 150 residents. I had 30 IV anibiotics to hang, do staffing, mop floors, etc...BUT I always called report to the ED, and sent (practically) the whole chart...
  10. by   TennNurse
    I will say this, I do not think for one second that I could handle working LTC. There is such a tremendous need for good nurses in this area, and my hat is off to the ones who've devoted themselves to caring for the elderly.

    What I have learned over the last couple of years is that it is not LTC nurses that are the problem, it is many LTCs themselves. There is one here in town that is widely known as an absolute hellhole (my husband's men's group at church goes over there to hang out with the residents, and he has confirmed this assessment). Every ER pt I've had who came from there was an appalling mess. One poor old man I will always remember; he needed a Foley and it had been so long since he'd had basic hygeine done on his penis that his foreskin was crusted shut and we had to get to his urethra with hemostats. This was painful for everyone.

    On the other hand, when I was in nursing school, I worked for a lab that sent me to 3 LTC facilities at 0500 to get fasting labs on pts, one of which was a real high-dollar place where all the pts were just immaculate. This place obviously put money into hiring enough staff, and they apparently screened for the really good ones. Not having ever worked in an LTC facility, I can't say this with certainty, but it seems to me that what really makes the difference here is which facility the nurse in question works at. I have to assume that at this one horrible one here, either the staffing is so short that there is no way to meet even the most basic needs, or else this facility is willing to hire, um, less enthusiastic nurses, and certainly does not appear to hold the staff in general to any standard of quality of care.

    LTC nurses are willing to take on a job that I don't think I could handle, along with hospice nurses and oncology nurses. So I am very thankful that you all are out there, and that you care so much about the elderly. I am very aware that my job would be a hundred times more difficult without you.
  11. by   lvs2nrs3535
    I have to say, the replies to my post have opened my eyes to MANY things. I also appreciate all your respnses and honesty. I did fall into LTC by accident, but I do love it. I am surprised by my own response, because all i ever wanted to be was an ER nurse. Now I feel comitted to my residents. I know they are there to live out their life span, but when the little confused lady takes my hand, with such trust and love, I cant help but feel so very needed. I have 60 year old Downs syndrome patient who is such a sweetie, I just cant stand it. (sometimes I worry about the profesionalism aspect of it, but these people just need a little attention, a little love, ya know)
    So,,,,, Thank you all so much for your encouraging words, I know I did make the right choice, and I will continue where I am. I may change focus in a year or two, but who knows? Maybe I wont want to. I dunno.
  12. by   suebird3
    Kristy, please keep us posted on how things go!

  13. by   pyrolady
    Actually, I started out as a midnight charge nurse in a LTC, worked in it for approx. four years, became a geriatric psych. nurse and then an Administrator of a nursing home (loved it - was in a position to change things!). Then because of stress (frozen shoulder) I left and went to hospitals...oh my gosh !!! They think LTC's don't do what they need??? Hospital puts in a foley, usually decides they are "confused" so of course we need wrist restraints or safety bed, and turn??? Sorry honey, the nurses are so busy they can't sneeze let alone turn - and forget the MST (in most cases, but I did have two great ones). Now I am a DON in a SNF and absolutely LOVING it (great career path folks...you can be a ADON, DON OR Administrator if you really want to implement change). To answer your question though, there is an old saying, "Never blow out someone's candle to make yours shine brighter". Nurses as a whole have low self-esteem and they have to believe that whatever they are doing is the only way to go. Hopefully someday we will all see that we are here to help everyone, children, teens, adults, and elders. Different ages, different specialties. Geriatrics is a specialty - and you can take a LTC nurse and put her in the hospital and she will survive. Do the opposite and the hospital nurse will drown. LTC's move a lot faster than people think. Hange in there and enjoy your chosen SPECIALTY, educate yourself on the older population, dementia, physical therapy, etc. Learn learn learn. Enjoy !