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Is there a chance that nurse-patient ratio be better?

Nurses   (1,427 Views | 5 Replies)

payang0722 specializes in Geriatric.

3,515 Profile Views; 60 Posts

First time in my 2nd.month of working in a LTC that I literally cried at the med room. I'm a new grad & this is my first job. There were so many things in my head when I finally can't hold my tears anymore. I feel so frustrated not being able to do all the things that I wanted to do to help my 24 residents. I feel so rushed talking to them, I wanted to stay for few more minutes to listen to a depressed person starting to voice out her feelings; I wanted to just stay for few more minutes to a lady who can't talk but crying and don't want to let go of my hand; I wanted to give that confused man more attention and redirect him that he won't fall... so many things that I guess not just me, but the rest of us who works with our patients. But it is so impossible. Then at the end, people at the top will complain, why this person fell? why this person is deteriorating? why all these damn paperworks not done?why?

Going back to history, I think Ms. Nightingale didn't think that the Healthcare setting would be like this.

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tokmom has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Certified Med/Surg tele, and other stuff.

4,568 Posts; 48,257 Profile Views

No, she didn't have reams of paperwork to do. Give yourself some time. You are still a new grad and I'm sure it's rough to get it all done in your shift. As you get better and quicker you will have a bit more time for the clients.

In the mean time, why not focus on one or two residents per shift? That way you can spend a longer period of time with them?

Years ago I worked a SNF. Those first few months were rough and I came frome a hospital setting. After I got a grip on my job, I had the time to visit and sit with clients. I cherish many of those talks we had to this day.,

:hugs:

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218 Posts; 3,265 Profile Views

It will get better. You will get faster at your job (as with any job) as time passes and have more time to "just talk" with your patients. Take advantage of your assistants if you have them. By that I mean "live vicariously through them." I used to be a CNA and I have to brag that I was a good one who was very efficient at my job. I worked hard to get all of my "chores" done and would work on baths, linens, etc. while my co-workers would be in the break room eating breakfast or gossipping. Getting my work done early gave me "extra time" the rest of the day to talk with patients, listen to them, and pamper them. Unfortunately, it could also be a curse because if it looked as if I "wasn't doing anything" since I had time to talk to the patients, nurses who worked on the opposite hall (caring for patients I wasn't assigned to) would call for me to help because "their aide" was busy. Of course their aide was always busy because she was always behind due to her breaks and slacking. Point being, if you have an assistant who CAN listen to those patients who need an ear or paint a lonely lady's fingernails LET THEM. Don't think, "oh, she's not doing anything so I better find some more work." Think, "AWESOME! I'm glad Suzy can hold Mrs. Smith's hand while she's upset." Unfortunately, aides aren't able to do RN duties like passing meds, but they are able to comfort patients when you aren't able to. You can call on them to do that. There doesn't have to be a bowel movement or a linen change in order to call on them. Patients so often thought that I was their nurse when I was an aide and I know that they think "my" aides are their nurses and it's not because they're misleading, but because as nurses you often only have time to be "the lady who brings the medicine" and what they appreciate is "the lady who listens to them." You'll have more and more time to listen as you become faster at your job, but in the meantime use your resources. I realize all aides aren't "good" so if you're upset that Mrs. Smith is crying and you're busy, but the aide is playing on the internet - tell her she's needed in room 2! That may not fix the problem of YOU not having the satisfaction of comforting the patient, but it helps the patient and that's what's ultimately important is that their needs are met.

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351 Posts; 7,803 Profile Views

Maybe in Canada. I don't mean to be Debbie Downer, but I think that answer depends on your place of employment. I worked at the same place for a year, and it didn't get better. Management gave the nurses too little time to adequately address the patient needs. No, I'm not just saying that; family would constantly complain that their family member's needs weren't being addressed, and it was NOT for lack of caring. That being said, not all places staff that way. And that doesn't mean that you can't still care. You just have to --unfortunately--care quickly.

Yep, I'm Debbie Downer. Nevertheless, here's a :hug: from Debbie.

Edited by Art_Vandelay

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robby5313 has 3 years experience.

84 Posts; 2,074 Profile Views

It will get better, but most LTC facilities expect impossible things from their nurses. The workload is ridiculous. Some are a little better than others. It was very difficult for me sometimes to know that many times the level of care I was able to give was just "the minimum" to get by. You have to have a great team-that helps if you have good CNA's to help you. Wish I could say that it will be great after a while--only that it will get a little easier!

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tyvin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Hospice / Psych / RNAC.

1,620 Posts; 18,023 Profile Views

Oh my dear how I wish I could tell you that it will get better ... it is what it is. I'm sure you've read the stories on this forum in relation to LTC . The med pass is a horror to behold. I know my time in LTC taught me many things.

Had I not worked in LTC I would have never believed that places actually give that many residents to one nurse. I had to step up real fast. Time management took on a whole different meaning. You will get better at it as time goes by that is a fact. Don't hold your breath waiting for those places to realize the pass is impossible and to hire more nurses "They Know" ... staggers the imagination doesn't it. But as long as nurses keep on performing the impossible feats, nothing will change.

If nothing else you will have learned much more about nursing then if you had waited for something else. Breath ... these things have a way of working themselves out.

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