LVNs in LTC, lots of questions for you, please!

Specialties Geriatric


I'm a new LVN and have been working acute care for the last couple of months. It is hard work and the large patient ratios scare me. I am enjoying the knowledge I'm gaining, though.

I have accepted a position at a LTC on a per diem basis (1-2 days a week) and I have a few questions for any of you that can answer them. I have not started yet but I'm really looking forward to this job because I feel I'll be more respected and I'm excited about building relationships with residents as opposed to seeing acute patients get discharged less than a day after you admit them!

I have no experience in LTC but am eager to learn. I've read so many horror stories regarding such facilities and am wondering if the working conditions are really worse than being swamped in a hospital setting? I am quite used to that! Here is the deal-

The facility I'm going to work at houses two wings. One is 49 beds, the other is 37. On PM shift, there is one LVN for each unit, and sometimes a supervisor, though they can't seem to find one to hire at this time. Responsibilities include meds, medicare charting, weekly summaries (I don't know how many per day, how many is typical?) and I'm not sure what else.

The DON told me that the hardest part will be learning each resident and knowing their likes/dislikes, how they take their meds, and which ones are picky about having their med exactly on time, etc. Once the routine is down, things fall into place. Can any of you tell me if you find this info to be true?

Also, I'm not familiar with med passing in LTC. Do you make one round on PMs or are times scattered? Also, how long does a typical med pass take you?

Last but not least, how many new grad LVN/LPNs out there have started in LTC and how did you do with it?

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to answer my questions. It will help me lots!


Hello Julie,

Welcome to the Nursing Profession.

I worked in LTC when I first graduated 6 years ago. I was able to gain alot of knowledge and hands on expierance dealing with the same individuals on a daily basis.

You are fortunate that the facility you are going to has an LVN for each unit. Where I worked I was the only LPN on the 3-11 shift and it was a 200 bed facility, with 4 wings.

Luckily, I had very reliable CNA's and CMA's to handle the meds and keep me informed on the patients. Of course, I made rounds constantly and helped with the everyday tasks as much as I could while still doing my "administrative duties". I usually did my charting in the evening when most of the residents were in bed.

I did work per diem at another LTC where I did pass meds due to a smaller patient ratio. Most of the Meds were on the same time schedule, which makes it easy. You have to develope your own routine to handle the meds, do feeding tubes, etc.

Just be patient and it will fall into place soon. The most important part is learning the resident's names, their actions, likes/dislikes, etc.

Good luck and it may be frustrating at first and if you have any problems make sure you talk with the DON or leave a note and follow up.

MNM----A Step for Our Future--5-5-2001


CEWorden, LPN

Proud to be a Nurse

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