Published Jun 23, 2009
Hi there, I am a new grad who isn't scheduled to take the boards yet. ( I am waiting for my ATT)..nonetheless I was hired at a notorious LTC facility who has had terrible incidents happen there. Just earlier this month there were 4 arrests made, 3 CNAS & 1 LPN were charged with abuse & endangering the life of a patient. The pressure ulcer rates are high & the people there look scary... the workers mostly. But I need a job. I am a single mom and I am struggling. This particular facility seems to graze headlines ever so often but the positive thing is that they have a new ADN who seems to really want to turn things around. But I am scared. My mother (a recently turned NP) said that if I do my job and do it properly then I will be ok. I have heard that some of the CNA's can be quite difficult on my assigned unit.. I am a tiny thing and barely look intimidating, but I can be assertive. I used to work with an aid who did not know I was in Nursing School and I remember her confiding to her friend that "we can accidentally kill a patient but it falls on the Nurse so who cares?" I remember I started to sweat. Are there any good suggestions to be made as to how to manage difficuly aids and a place with a negative reputation? I consider myself, bright, intuitive, caring and good at time management. I am just worried that I will have to keep running after people, pulling sheets up & constantly re-checking patients just in case. I know nursing homes are different than hospitals.. I am at the vent unit where it seems a majority of the patients are chronic...I've seen the unit and have already predicted that alot of turning and mouth care is needed. Am I getting myself into something iffy? Or is it just overwhelming for me because I am brand new?
Be positive and thankful you have a job. If they just cleaned house they you can do your part to make this place a better place to be. You are already being negative about the aids but you haven't started yet...don't do that to yourself. Sure it will be difficult at first. Yes, the aids may be the devil incarnate but give it a go and you might surprise yourself.
86toronado, BSN, RN
It sounds like the management is trying to change things, and change can't happen without people who are willing to make it happen... you can be one of those people. Just go in and do your job, protect your license, and try to set a good example for these "bad aides". I would check on the length/quality of the orientation you are getting if you are going to be a new grad in this place, though.
I agree with the previous posters. You definitely can't always believe what you hear or read. It might not be all that bad, because a few made it that way. Make sure you are ready to go off orientation. They might give you a set time, but if you need more time, let them know.
I have worked in some places with really bad reputations, as a New Grad and a Travel Nurse. For what it is worth, I made the most of it. It surely made me a nurse that can deal with mostly anything. On a good note, I met the most influential people, not everyone is a bad seed.
NC Girl BSN
Do yourself a favor and go in with an open mind. Don't ignore warning signs. Also don't pre lable the CNA's because technically they are your lifeline. If you go in throwing your weight around and make them mad then it will make the job 1000 times harder because they will not help you. That does not mean let them get away with neglect but you have to fiqure out how to effectively communicate with them. Good luck and keep us posted.
If you knew all this, my question is- WHY would you apply at a place like this??? What would make you even WANT to as a LICENSED NURSE?????????????
DolceVita, ADN, BSN, RN
I would want to be sure I had Liability Insurance.
Just try your best darlin'. The difficult thing at first will be time management-getting meds out and g tube patient care. A caring diligent nurse wil be recognized as such. I'm sure Florence dealt with some hard cases. You can educate your aides as time goes on. The residents need you and the DON seems to be wanting to turn things around. It can be extremely rewarding to care for the helpless. Also think of this-since the rep is bad, an intelligent person will realize you tried to change it and strangely, most people will not blame you personally if they see you are energetic and caring and trying your best- it can't get worse! LTC can be nursing at it's best where you have to use judgment, clinical and critical thinking to survive. It's quite humanitarian. You might feel you have failed as a nurse at some point (because it's so demanding) and leave the field but then you might go back when you see that the human element is so strong in LTC as opposed to the shorter stays of hospitalized patient. LTC is where the healing part of healthcare takes place- after the surgeries and treatments and things that have been tried and are no longer working in that patients are dependent. It's holistic in that sense, and can involve the family, or stand in place of the family. It's where you try to preserve dignity of the patient despite their afflictions and infirmities and endless medications. It's where pillow fluffing is most appreciated, or a favorite blanket, or grandma being tucked in, or grandpa telling his stories. It's also talking to a comatose patient and making sure his linens aren't bunchy, and his stomach is full and he's not thirsty. Dementia patients can be entertaining, funny and heartbreaking. Just do your best with the skills you have now. It's like this: you have your training, you have your heart, you have these supplies, go out there and think and do. As FDR said: make the most of what you have where you are; try something and fail, but most of all try something. You will find you will remember what your instructors have said in passing and it will come to you when you are pondering. When you don't know what to do for a patient-take vital signs! It will give you time to think. Besides, taking care of older people is much like taking care of children and can be a good start for a nurse. It's not brain surgery! Really.
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