LTC Covid Care, or I am Legend by default

Nurses COVID


I'm an aide at a large LTC facility (3 units, 150 beds), and we have recently had several brushes with Covid 19. Once a staff member tested positive, they were to quarantine at home for 14 days. A resident was almost immediately moved to a facility designated to care for those with covid, so as to lessen exposure to his/her neighbors.

Problem is this: nobody wants to go in the room with a sick resident, esp since we have now retained a positive one and built an enclosure (with PPE) in order to cover her care while there. For instance, aides deliberately left her food tray on the cart the other night. Guess who suited up and went in to set her up to eat?

I don't get paid $21/HR like the aides at the covid positive facility, but it IS my job to pass trays. I'm just really mad because when she came back from the hospital and was neutropenic and we had to suit up for her protection, I did so because she was my resident. I was protecting her. Then comes the positive result the following day, and even her aide was resistant to going in. That night, the guy across the hall from her as well as room next door both were sickly residents---cough, fatigue, fever, no appetite, etc.

Fast forward: two residents to hospital, one dies of covid in past week. Three in new covid enclosure at the rear of hall 1, all positive. Management super excited to give us TWO DOLLARS extra an hour for working on unit, and $2 in addition if we aren't late and don't miss any shifts. Are you FREAKING kidding me? Everyone is quitting or calling in, leaving the rest of us to shoulder the burden. The first night the covid enclosure was up, an aide left early-- she was found to be positive later. And I got to take over for her, getting yelled at by one resident who waited "hours" for changing, by another because her phone needed charging, and another broke down in tears because she was dehydrated and felt she was being ignored. Everyone had been told by one aide or another that they "were coming back", but didn't. That night (3-11pm) I had 19 residents by myself, 3 of which were positive and required my donning and doffing each trip into the enclosure. Too much.

What does it look like for everyone else out there, esp in LTC? We DO get 2 nurses, one for each hall, for each shift, but the lack of aides feels like it's killing the rest of us ?.



2 Posts

Specializes in 24.

Just joined this site.  Shocked no one has commented on your heartfelt and justified concerns.  Welcome to 21st century profit driven LTC environment complicated by Covid care for the vulnerable patient and exploited workers. 


3 Posts

I am a nurse at a LTC and rehab facility and we are facing the same struggles. Multiple staff and residents have become infected. No one will apply or come into work. I have been down with bronchitis and feel awful about not being there. It's just an awful situation. And yes we get the $2 warrior pay also.  I so feel your pain. There seen to be no answers for us.  And we have no facilities to send out covid positive people. It's just so scary.

Advanced Practice Columnist / Guide

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

8 Articles; 4,338 Posts

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology.

OP, I'm sorry this is the situation in our country's long term care facilities. This is a problem that has not been looked into for years under multiple administrations over the course of decades.  This is the very reason why at least 1/3 of our COVID 19 cases are tracked to LTC residents and staff.  I salute you for showing up to work and caring for your residents.  Take care of yourself because you have to make sure you are protected first and foremost. 

Thanks for all the input. You do feel very lonely, stranded, in the midst of all this. About 6 or 7 of the staff who left our facility within the past few months, left it for one particular facility. I just trained a new girl who left aforementioned facility, citing "terrible management". Grass isn't greener I guess. It's the only reason I havent left yet. Well that, and they did finally hire a few new people, so I don't have a whole hall to myself anymore. I can't wait until I get my KMA(CMA). And my LPN. And RN. 

Ps--So sorry to hear about your bronchitis, kluv2jazz. Hope you feel better soon!


2 Posts

Specializes in 24.

Its definitely not greener, just different fertilizer.


Missingyou, CNA

718 Posts

Specializes in Long term care.

Been there, done that this past Spring as a CNA at a long term facility.

It won't get any better. And be will surely get covid yourself & likely bring it to your family. Hate to be a "Debbie downer" but, it's the honest truth, as I said, been there, done that. If I knew then what  I know now, I would have quit at the 1at sign of covid entering our facility. If enough staff quit, they'd be forced to send residents to a hospital where there is better PPE and precautions in place to protect everyone. 

I agree with the sentiments above. In my own experience in the NYC area we were consistently left without supplies, had no ability to test until mid-April, we were unable to get CXRs for over a week at times, and there was what seemed like almost a deliberate refusal to develop isolation protocols for patient's who had potential COVID symptoms until the attorney general started to round through facilities. Leadership at times would deliberately stop efforts by staff to solve problems on a unit level but actually refused to go up onto the units during March and April to see what was happening.  My heart goes out to you- you are doing the right thing in a tough situation. Please make sure to protect yourself. 

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