Returning to LTC Nursing after Breast Cancer

  1. hello, fellow nurses.
    i am new to using a site like this with threads.
    i am an lvn of 12 years and have spent the past year enduring breast cancer treatments.
    nearing my, near end sessions of breast reconstruction; i am now rethinking my role in the nursing environment.

    all these years i have been so decisive about making decisions for patients, so you would think that i could easily redirect my own career with little effort.
    yet, i find myself feeling blind-sighted, alone and much like a dog chasing it's own tail.

    ltc requires so much energy.
    i wonder if i can take returning to a position as a floor nurse with 50 + patients at a time.

    i would like an adon position, however just like many of you; i don't know where to go from here.
    how do i get someone to give me a break, willing to take a little time to orient me to the duties for such a position.

    you know how everyone hates to orientate a new nurse.
    most of the time, a staff decides they hate you even before they ever even meet you.
    they either lie to you, give you the cold shoulder or ignore you all together.
    they are just hoping someone, anyone will divert you away from them.
    all your hoping for is a few straight answers so you can get on with your duties.
    and praying to find at least one friendly face that remains a friendly face when your back is turned.

    i am certain all of you have experienced that on a new job.

    i cannot afford rn school, i have too many student loans to pay as it is.
    then there is the question, will anyone hire a nurse after having been off a year due to breast cancer?

    i love being a floor nurse guarding, guiding and loving my patients as if i were their sister or mother.

    now i wil never be able to tug, lift or pull on patients again which as we all know that is a major duty we have in ltc.

    i loved wound care.
    but if cnas don't get their showers done in a timely fashion, then i may have to pull, tug and have to lift a patient to clean them myself in order to prepare for culturing, measuring, cleaning, treating and dressing the wounds.

    to work in a wound care center, where i may not have to do so much lifting, they want you to be certified in wound care and again there is that money issue.

    being off a year, unable to lift, fear of not getting another job because of my diagnosis and no funds to obtain further training, all those issues are weighing heavily on my mind.

    have any of you been in this situation?
    can you share your ideas, feelings and hopefully your success story with me?

    thanks, for being a sounding board for me.
    have a happy life:wink2:
  2. Visit speckleddove profile page

    About speckleddove

    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 23


  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I can't say i've ever been in your psotion, but i did want to say a few things

    1) Not everyone hates to orient a new nurse. A lot of people love to. Especially one that is caring and eager to learn, not to mention one that has personal experience as a pt.

    2) Soemoen will hire you, and if they don't, that's their loss. You obviously have a lot to offer.

    3) Our wound care dept. will pay for somoene to get certified, in exchange for a contract that the person work for them for X amount of months. Maybe a facility would be willing to do the same? And maybe not just for wound care either.

    4) Check with a financial aid person at a local college and explain your situation. They might be able to point you in the direction of grants and such, if you would like to go back to school.

    5) A big encouraging hug:kiss and a prayer for you, sounded like you could use it from that post:angel2: :flowersfo
  4. by   Tweety
    Good luck to you.

    No, I haven't experienced that on a new job. I'm only saying that to encourage you that it's not like that everywhere.
  5. by   speckleddove
    No offense taken.
    LOL, I have just have been in some of the worst places.
    I need to start working in the upper crust regions and stop playing the mother teresa role for the poor, at least for awhile anyway.

    I don't understand the LPN vs the RN deal either.
    We each have a purpose and the same goals, so why nit pick.
    If I wanted to be an RN I would go back to school instead of trying to give an RN grief.
    I love the RN's and the Nurse practitioners are my saviours.
    I want someone around to assist me when I come across an unknown factor.
    No man / woman is an Island regardless of how much experience or degrees they may have.
    I hate tracking down a doctor only to get attitude and grief.
  6. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    I'm so sorry for all your troubles.

    Honestly though, if you are ultimately hoping for an ADON position, I doubt you will find anywhere that will put an LPN in that role. I've never seen it happen, although maybe it's a state issue.

    Try going back. Explain to your CNAs that you will need their help. That's what I've done. I can't lift or pull because of severe spinal injuries, and my CNAs know this and always rush to help me and even scold me when they see me pick something heavy up. They take care of me, and they know that I take care of them also. It can be done.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I just wanted to wish you luck.
  8. by   suebird3
    Welcome to You would be interested in our LTC Forum at: , so drop by when you can.

  9. by   speckleddove
    i didn't think so either but since that i have met several lpns' that hold adon positions.
    it may be that infamous saying "it depends".
    i hate that saying.
    it's just a way to avoid giving a direct answer.
    they tell me they don't like the salaries deal though.
    they prefer the hourly pay.
    maybe only lpns with some colege credits can.
    i never really asked if they had attended college pre-med courses like i did.
    i wanted to be a dr. but when i discovered my college drug out course offerings turning an 8 year program into an nearly 12 year process, i said to heck with that.
    my husband wouldn't move so i could enroll in another college.

    honey, i wish i worked with cnas' like your describing.
    you are dang lucky.
    i have had a few cans as good as nurses but they have been few and far in between.

    i worked at 2 facilities where everyone pulled together as a team.
    even if we really weren't crazy about one another.
    when it came to patient care and getting things done, we were like one person.
    even the cnas were at the one facility, great gals!
    they actually liked or loved their patients and gave better care than a mother would.
    that group of 5 man, they were the best with the best attitudes i have ever seen.
    i have heard all the insults and jokes about hillbillies there are but after working in several states in all sorts of settings, my money is on any kentucky cna or nurse trained in ky.
    kentucky nurses and techs. are top notch and i would put them up against any rn from any state.
    tn. cnas, now only the ones i have met. i am not grouping all tn. cnas as one.
    i wouldn't pay a dime for the ones i have worked with.
    they will stand in your face and tell you they are not cleaning a sick or poopy patient until they feel like it, cus i am telling you i have heard street gangs with cleaner mouths than they had.
    state caught one cussing me and refusing to return a patient to bed after a shower for wound care so they could monitor me providing wound care.
    state came up behind me in the doorway as she cussed me and said "if i gotta put her back in this bed after her shower then i ain't even gona get her up! and more cussing.
    state went for her and demanded to see the don.
    crappy thing is they went after the don over that, not the cna.
    i didn't understand that at all.
    they were pulling nurses in an office wanting to know if the don was doing anything to weed these types out and if she was punishing them for such behavior etc..
    i said now wait a minute this don just got hired as most of the full time nursing staff.
    how can you be coming down on her so hard when she just basically got here and has not had time to learn anything about these people.
    they wouldn't answer.
    it was a horror story this place was.
    the owner had been written up repeatedly for years over neglect and abuse issues and the state wascoming back to re-survey this nightmare of a facility.
    it would have been out of business because every pat. they had was medicade / medicare.
    this is how bad this place was, i had 2 floors with pt.s covered in stage 4 wounds.
    i had one poor man that had 19 stage 4 wounds, does that give you an idea how bad the care was here?
    the nurses went nearly all agency nurses that actually refused to change a single dressing on my days off.
    when have you ever heard a nurse ever refuse to do wound care?
    blew my mind.
    said to me, "unhugh, ain't my job"
    "i just pass pills, that's it!"
    now you tell me, what do you think about type of nurse?

    then all i seen the state do is chew up & spit out the don and write up fines after fines.

    then it dawned on me.
    wait just a cotton pickin minute here, if they have been after this place for 3 frigin years, why wasn't this place closed a long, long time ago!
    state asked me if i had seen any drug dealing or suspicious activities in laundry.
    i said no.
    they asked me if i was aware there had been crack being sold out of the laundry room at that facility a year ago.
    i said , no, i have only been here 2 weeks.

    so, if they had proof of things like that, where and what had they been doing all these past 3 years.
    and why didn't cops monitor that place?
    so i did some investigating on who is over the so called big bad state inspectors.
    come to find out they must answer to the attorney generals office.
    so if i see a poor don getting her / his head chopped off the way they did her, i'm calling their boss.
    they acted as if all that was wrong in that place was her fault.
    she had only been there 1 month, shesh come on now.

    how is that fair and how does busting her chops fix anything?
    our checks bounced,no wound care or tube feeding suppies in a facility that falsely advertised they had wound care specialist and top quality care - my a##,
    we had staff that refused to work at all, patients in the worst shape you could imagine, a building falling down around us.

    and in 1 month they expected her 1 person to magically cure everything wrong.