Jump to content

Long Term Care Nursing is Lame

Posted
purplegal purplegal (Member)

You are reading page 3 of Long Term Care Nursing is Lame. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Just because you didn't fit in well in the one PCU you tried, doesn't mean you won't thrive in a different one.

If you are really so unhappy in LTC, try to get into another PCU, spend a few years there to get your skill level up, and then move into ICU.

Its a process. Insulting a crap ton of LTC nurses and not seeing the value of what you currently do will not get you to where you want to be.

It almost seems like you dont actually care about the job or patients itself, moreso, you care about image. Re: "I'd love to call myself an ICU nurse".

Maybe some reevaluation would go a long way for you.

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

Purplegal, I seriously invite you to try long term acute if you have one such place close enough. You'll NOT need too many technical things there to begin with (there always will be some needle-and-tube happy one like myself nearby, I assure you :)) and we teach you the rest. If you are tele tech, you already know a good chunk of mandatory stuff. A couple years there will give you base for anything from burns to HD, including lower-key ICU, and you will have time to decide what you like most.

Good luck with whatever you deside!

I've worked LTC for almost 10 years. I wouldnt consider it lame at all. I love what I do. I take care of 15-20 patients on dayshift and on the weekend I have 30+ patients. I feel like make a real difference. It is my calling and my passion. LTC needs good nurses. We may not do all the acute care stuff but that doesn't make it lame at all. I start IV's, I can flush ports, do wound care and hold the hand of a dying patient, coordinate care, and do preventative measures for each patients risk factors. Don't put off something as lame just because you don't like it. That's just rude.

SummitRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU + Infection Prevention. Has 9 years experience.

I bet your patients are impressed and don't think LTC nursing is lame... but if it doesn't fulfill you, move on!

I bet your patients are impressed and don't think LTC nursing is lame... but if it doesn't fulfill you, move on!

Right. They do not care that I'm not an ICU nurse.

PANYNP

Specializes in Crit Care; EOL; Pain/Symptom; Gero. Has 36 years experience.

I'm going to assume you're just trolling. Anyone who has been a nurse at an LTC for day knows it's all about basic nursing skills and patient care. If you can't do those little things well, you sure can't do the high-speed, split second, life or death decisions some of these other specialties encounter everyday.

Personally, I've never seen an LTC that was properly staffed and budgeted with supplies. Which essentially means you're making chicken salad out of chicken ***** everyday while running the gauntlet. Because of this, LTC has made me more efficient and innovative. While wound care, cleaning butts, slinging pills, dealing with families of these frail and forgotten Geri's doesn't requires a lot of technical knowledge, it does require a helluva a lot of heart and compassion.

Maybe you should be focusing on how to better advocate and serve your patients instead of your own personal interests. If your not being challenged, look around for things you can do to challenge yourself. Fix the problem, not the blame.

I don't understand why someone with a BSN would work LTC unless it was a DON/ADON position. BTW, LTC nursing pay is low because of the value our society places on the elderly not the skill set involved with their care.

Wow, just wow. There is way more to LTC than the tasks you've described when taking care of "frail and forgotten Geri's"!?

I am a COB, an old ICU nurse from the trenches. I became a Gero NP in my late 40s, and I use all of my finely tuned assessment and management skills from years in the ICU to discern symptoms of stroke, HF, resp failure, "dwindles" or failure to thrive, exacerbation of MS and an assortment of other neuro maladies, ortho problems, arthritis, allergy, falls and fractures, skin issues, pain and symptom management, and EOL care. And more.

I work as a team member with CNAs, LPNs, RNs, a part-time medical director, community attendings, consultants, pharmacists, nutritionists, social workers, and one other NP.

My workplace is a 188-bed continuing care community with 5 separate residential units ranging from transitional (subacute rehab) to a locked memory care unit, with a few hospice beds scattered throughout.

I am on the run from 0630 to 1630 daily, (high speed, split second) with admission workups, ensuring safe discharges to home, small booboos, big catastrophes, insulin orders, antibiotics, antihypertensives, antiarrhythmics, side effects of these meds, interpreting 12-leads, making decisions when to send residents out - considering the functional decline that takes place when older individuals are hospitalized, or putting together a workable plan to keep the resident within our community to the extent that we can handle, related to IV hydration, IV morphine etc.

Although your advice to OP started out well, it turned a tad murky toward the end as you question why a BSN would work as a staff nurse in LTC. Why not a BSN, if that's the niche and comfort zone.

My sense is that even though OP stated that LTC nursing is "lame", her listing of her skills demonstrates just the opposite. Seeking reassurance and reaffirmation is fine. And sometimes necessary.

Anyone who works in adult acute care knows that Gero is where it's at, baby. And it's going to stay that way into the 2060s, when the last of us Baby Boomers shuffle off this mortal coil.

As nurses, we value individuals from the cell to the spirit.

Love ya, mean it.

djh123

Specializes in LTC, Rehab. Has 5 years experience.

Well, to be fair, my first assignment alone was 8 patients, and then it's just gradually increased. I'm honestly not sure how I would have done if my initial load had been the 20+ patients I have now.

Wow! I was given 32 initially, w/no experience, and what-a-joke-are-you-kidding-me amount of 'training'.

RNOTODAY, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, ER, OR. Has 18 years experience.

I agree, and I'll never work in such a setting, ever.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

I don't really like passive aggressive and that is what this sounds like to me. You would rather do a different kind of nursing and you feel like those are the cool kids and you aren't cool enough to be one of the cool kids so you will post here about how not cool you are in hopes that people will jump up and tell you no no no, you really ARE cool...or at least, that is how it reads to me.

Your skill set is both needed and valuable. If you want to do a different kind of nursing, go for it. LTC is not "lame" and nobody in nursing deserves a poor paycheck. Geriatric care is a wonderful specialty full of really REALLY special people. If you don't want to take pride in what you do, we can't help that, but I can tell you, tons of nurses in LTC DO take pride in what they do and rightly so. Don't insult them in your attempt at validation for yourself. They don't deserve that.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

]

Personally, I've never seen an LTC that was properly staffed and budgeted with supplies. Which essentially means you're making chicken salad out of chicken ***** everyday while running the gauntlet.

If not for this reality I would've chosen to work in LTC. In my mind's eye I pictured the ideal, enough staff, enough money. . .it was the grandmas in my life who caused me to see a spark. But I know my own limits related to a finite number of things I can handle coming at me at once

purplegal, I can't tell if your comments are very dry or serious, though unfortunately I agree the specialty has a public perception problem.

ThePrincessBride, BSN

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 6 years experience.

Hmmm...where to start.

1. LTC (and home health) nurses are the wave of the future. Baby Boomers are getting older and within the next 20 or so years, we will be seeing a surge of people needing to live in LTC facilities. LTC nurses are DESPERATELY needed and are HIGHLY valuable. Get a few years in an unimpressive LTC and soon, you will be able to write your ticket to better facilities with better pay and working conditions.

2. I work in both med/surg and neonatal ICU. To be honest, I find my work in med/surg (which is often looked down about in similar fashion) FAR harder and more impressive than my oftentimes "cushy" NICU job...and yet, I receive far more appreciation in the NICU. When people find out that I "still" work in med/surg, their noses wrinkle and their eyes bulge out of their sockets in complete shock. "I could never work in med/surg." Yeah..they couldn't. Not with that attitude, at least.

You tell future NMs that you are able to juggle the care of 20+ patients and watch their reactions. Don't say anything....just observe.

3. ER and ICU nurses aren't constantly doing life-saving or adrenaline-rushing stuff. Oftentimes, our days are long and uneventful with a sprinkle of action here and there. Many ER nurses feel burnt out d/t lack of actual emergencies and seeing abuse of the ER system. ICU nurses aren't always coding patients, but monitoring, assessing and keeping the MDs/NPs up-to-date on patient status. It isn't all action.

I have more to add, but I have got to go. I do find starting this thread to be very tasteless and attention-seeking.

Wow! I was given 32 initially, w/no experience, and what-a-joke-are-you-kidding-me amount of 'training'.

Honestly, I think the only reason I had only 8 was because we were a pretty new facility at the time. They have no problem giving large assignments to the new nurses who start now. One nurse left after 3 nights of orientation with the full load. My training was minimal as well, considering I was on my own on day 3 of 5 of "orientation."

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

I don't really like passive aggressive and that is what this sounds like to me. You would rather do a different kind of nursing and you feel like those are the cool kids and you aren't cool enough to be one of the cool kids so you will post here about how not cool you are in hopes that people will jump up and tell you no no no, you really ARE cool...or at least, that is how it reads to me.
Came across the same way to me!

I'm not sure we have the whole story here. OP started in another unit but was INvoluntarily transferred out. She continues to post that she may not have all the right qualifications to work in the 'dream unit' with all those 'extraordinary' nurses who do.

She has another current post asking how to work in the ICU that she is so enamored of.

Education and experience is what does it. Maybe just a new start in another facility can re-set her direction.

I've worked in LTC for several years, and while it wasn't my dream job, the longer I work the more interesting and enjoyable it becomes. Not because it serves up exciting developments on the regular, but because I am truly invested in it and take the initiative to develop skills and advocate for better paths of care. You get out of it what you put into it. There are plenty passable nurses in this and other fields with the attitude expressed here. And as long as 'passable' is the highest standard being sought, you have nothing more to concern yourself with - except being exceedingly replaceable.

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 25 years experience.

But you've impressed me, purplegal...

I HOPE I'm sensing sarcasm...

NutmeggeRN, BSN

Specializes in kids. Has 25 years experience.

Oh nooooo, Purplegal. Don't do this. Aren't you the one that posted a year ago about something similar and it took *forever* to get people to back off? /QUOTE]

Yes she did...seems to me it might be time to reasses career goals and aspirations...clearly not happy...

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

I went back and read the thread you started about a year ago in which you also insulted the LTC specialty. You fell over yourself apologizing when you were called on it then. Those apologies don't seem to mean much, as this is truly the way you really feel, about all of those nurses and about yourself. How do I know this? Because here we are, exactly one year later, having the exact same conversation.

Brutal honesty here.....I have no patience for this. If you hate it, go do something else. You are past the year mark. Reapply at the hospital that fired you if you would rather be there, but knock off this "poor me" stuff. It is unattractive and habit forming. You aren't a victim of anything but your own imagination at this point.

My mother just had to be admitted to a LTC facility last week. I can only hope that the nurses that are taking care of this wonderful, 95 year old woman, who took care of others all of her life, don't look at taking care of her as "lame." She has lived her life for others and deserves dignity and respect from anyone taking care of her.