Published Jul 30, 2009
I am slated to take an LNA course this fall. I have heard that most new LNAs can only find jobs in LTC where, hopefully, they will gain experience that will allow them to work in private duty, hospital and so on.
Is LTC really that horrible? I have yet to hear any positive things about it. I anticipate spending at least 6 months here before moving on to other things. Am I really going to be miserable?
barefootlady, ADN, RN
LTC is no picnic. You have to have a strong back and strong resolve to remain in LTC for an extended period of time. Good luck.
LTC is hard, but it can also be rewarding, and a good place to learn about basic patient care. You will work hard. You have to like people in general and want to help them... but over all any job is what you make it. Go in with a positive attitude and don't let others drag you down, so that you can gain your experience and reach your goals.
The residents are adorable. What is tough is that management doesn't want to pay enough people to do the work, and keep everyone safe. The people who are there absolutely work like dogs trying to get it all done. What is most frustrating is that you can be very conscientious, and still forget something important, because there is so much to do that is so very important. It is hateful to have to go home feeling like you did absolutely everything you could, and still gave substandard care. The best CNA's don't leave the floor to go eat. They understand that we cannot sacrifice a pair of hands. When people leave the floor for lunch breaks is when residents fall and get hurt. Things happen that are beyond our control. There are 23 end stage Alzheimer's patients. (Think 23 retarded 3 yr olds who are about 5'10".) There is one nurse passing meds, doing treatments, processing orders, calling doctors, doing assessments, charting, and managing 2-3 CNA's. CNA's are trying to keep all of these people clean, fed, clothed, calmed, toileted, and safe. The management keeps adding tasks, and taking away time. You just can't make all that work out no matter how hard you try. However, you are going to lose you job if things get messed up. That is LTC in a nutshell as I see it.
Lots of work, not enough people, but rewarding and at the end of the day I love feeling like I earned my money and helped someone. Some of the posters say that they don't get to take their breaks. Well here is the deal, studies have shown that people that don't take breaks actually are more unproductive and get less accomplished then people that do take their breaks. Take your breaks even if you feel like you have a mountain load to do. You need it to function at your peak.
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