Is 34 patients to 1 nurse expected in LTC?

Nursing Students General Students


I'm a new grad and accepted a position at a LTC facility. It'll be 34 patients that I have to pass meds for teatments and orders for 12 hrs. There's no treatment nurse, CNAs don't take vits or blood sugars. I feel overwhelmed. I've had 3 days of orientation and two more and I'm supposed to be on my own but truth is I'm terrified. Any advice?

Hi, speaking as a CNA here and a nursing student. I currently work in LTC and yes it can be hectic at times but you will establish a routine and make it all happen during your shift. Normally vitals are done while giving that particular pt. meds especially those that have to be taken before certian medications is to be given. Normally nurses care their own electronic monitors on their cart, so they are able to obtain BP/ Pulse and O2 stat while assessing the pt. and then return to the cart to pull the meds. Also with treatments , its not common that all your pts. will have treatment orders so it can be done in between med pass and of course not all treatments are done daily and that can be set up as a rountine as well. Good luck in your new postion. Just remember it will get easier once you learn a rountine and some days may be more hetic than others but you can do it .

Specializes in Critical Care, Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC, Tele,.

Sorry...but yes...I worked in various LTC settings as a vocational / practical nurse. In the ALF, I had 45 pts. In the long term Psych unit, I had >50 pts. In the SNF I had 25-35. It is hard, but doable. Observe your coworkers for ways to manage your med pass efficiently. Some of their shortcuts may not be acceptable to you, while other shortcuts may be worth your while.

As a new nurse, my philosophy was that it was ok to not be fast, as long as I was accurate. I did my 5 rights and triple checks. If that made my med pass a little late, so be it. I had a convo about my philosophy with at least one of my DONs, and she agreed that it was ok to be long as I was accurate.

I do do still remember a few coworkers who made fun of me for my slow med pass. Oh well. I thought to myself, I'd rather be disciplined for being late than giving a wrong med.

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