MDS Nurse burned out and going back to the floor

  1. I have been a LPN for over 16 years. For 14 of those 16 years I have been a MDS Nurse and have just accepted a job in a LTC facility as a floor nurse with more pay and better benefits. I am so burned out and so tired of the other "stuff" that comes with the MDS Nurses' job. Nurses who have never touched a MDS think it is a fluff job and as all you MDS Coordinators know, this is very far from the truth. In addition, I am tired of looking at four walls five days a week, the office politics, the cliques etc...and am ready to get back out on the floor. I will be working the Rehab floor so will be busy and I like that.

    I enjoy interacting with residents and staff and am at peace with knowing that I will no longer be responsible for everything the MDS position entails. I have given up the Mon-Fri., weekends and holidays off thing, but honestly I will be thrilled to have weekdays off to do things that are impossible to do working five days a week, then running around on Saturdays trying to cram everything in, being exhausted on Sunday and going back to do it all again on Monday.

    With that said, I do enjoy the actual MDS process but all that comes along with it? Not so much anymore. Am I crazy for giving it up? Or just really, truly burned out? I may very well end up going back to doing MDS 3.0 in the future but for now, I need a break.

    Just needed to vent and appreciate all of you "listening."
  2. Visit LTCNS profile page

    About LTCNS, LPN

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 637; Likes: 940


  3. by   nursewithskills
    Thanks for sharing.

    I'm a floor nurse working in LTC/Rehab center.

    I actually am burnt out from the floor work and dealing with difficult
    residents and family members.

    What you say you're burnt out from is actually what I'd prefer (at least the schedule part.)

    I want that type schedule so I can tend to my son, no family
    around to help and child care before and after care is very expensive.

    I actually would much rather look at the four walls of an office then
    the constant interruptions of people in my face with just the med pass alone.

    Your post put things in perspective for me, like not getting much done on
    during the week, cramming things in on Sat. barley having enough time to
    rest on Sunday, then back again Monday....

    Wishing you success with the change...and yes, you may want to go back to MDS
    after a couple of months of floor work, but that's nursing for ya
  4. by   LTCNS
    Thanks for your response My kids are grown and out of the house so it's just my husband and me, so I won't be missing out on events with the kids and can be more flexible. I will be working 3p-11p as well so won't be as busy as days, although I realize things happen and can get very busy more times than not.

    Like I said, I do enjoy the MDS process but have always enjoyed hands on. Honestly, the only thing I am NOT looking forward to is passing meds. but that comes with the territory whether you're a LPN or RN, and I am rusty since it's been awhile. I actually used to ask to work the floor when a LPN called in at my last job because I missed it. I switched from Medicare MDS Coordinator to weekend Baylor shift on the Rehab unit because I liked being busy, always having something to do. I went back to MDS Nurse at another facility thinking I was ready, but in reality I just wasn't. It just doesn't hold the same appeal to me as it did before.

    I suppose after so many years I just need a break you know? I would consider myself to have excellent clinical and assessment skills and have been blessed to have gained many different types of skills that many LPNs never get to experience. I just really miss being in the midst of the action, using what skills I can working in LTC as a LPN.

    Edited to add: MDS Nurses get a boat load of interruptions too. Try closing the door to have some quiet time to get work done and that's when they come knocking lol! Lots of meetings, lots of staff in and out and you do have to deal with family members in care plan conferences. Some of them can be quite rude
    Last edit by LTCNS on Sep 15, '12
  5. by   montecarlo64
    I did MDS many years ago & then again for the 1st 1 1/2 years after I got my RN (was an Lpn for 17 years). I accepted the MDS coordinator position only because I needed a job (unable to find hospital work) & the facility needed someone who could be trained easily (I had worked the floor there previously). I was very sucessful and my Medicare rates & CMI was high; however, I disliked MOST of the position. I, too, did not like to be boxed in an office 90% of the time, long & time consuming meetings, and Mon-Fri...I previously had worked weekend option & loved the fact of having more days off through the week. After a 1 1/2, I resigned. Nobody could understand why I would give up such an opportunity..The fact is, I missed working the floor..I am a hands on nurse & I prefer taking care of complex patients. I believe that I even did not get hired at a local hospital after 2 interviews because the manager was concerned that I would not be able to make the transition from "office nurse" to floor nurse!! I could not convince her that I was actually a floor nurse who was not adapting to "office nurse". Anyway, I have been working at a LTC/transitional care facility for the past 6 months. It is very hard since I float to every hall and there is frequently inadequate staff. I also work the evening shift & this is when all the admission come in...I went back to school to get my RN so I could escape LTC, but so far no such luck.. I am hoping that getting some more recent "floor" experience will make me more appealling to hospitals or home care...I completely understand your desire to jump ship from the MDS bandwagon, especially with all of the new changes..It is just too stressful & no one understands how important the details of this position entail. I wish you much luck & even though being on the floor is also physically and mentally demanding, it is way less stress than MDS
  6. by   LTCNS
    I get the same thing montecarlo. People as why I would give up such a "cushy" job lol! Sure it's an office job, but some office jobs just are not what they appear to be to those who have never done that type of work. When surveyors walk in the MDS Nurse is the first person they go to and your Care Plans and MDS are gone through with a fine toothed comb.
    I too thought it looked "easy" and thought MDS Nurses had it made. Weekends and all holidays off are most def. a bonus, but when one gets burned out in the office setting, it's hard to find happiness in the best of situations.

    I'm beginning to wonder though if I made a mistake. Post after post on here I read about the "horrors" of LTC and how much many of the nurses on here hate it. LTC is all I have ever done and have always enjoyed it. I have never had the desire to work in a clinic. Every clinic nurse I know hates the clinic lol!

    I don't know...I feel like working with the elderly is a calling. I feel so rewarded when I make a difference in just one person's day by taking the time to speak and acknowledge they exist and having someone tell me they look forward to my shifts and miss me when I'm off. Just little things like that you know?
  7. by   Kooky Korky
    I think one's choice of work depends entirely on the chooser. Each of us has a place we should be and work we should be doing at any given time in our life, I believe. So I wish you well, all of you. Don't mind what anyone else says. It's your life and you must do what you think is best for you and for your loved ones.
  8. by   LTCNS
    Thank you Kooky Korky. I believe the same as you, but get so discouraged when reading posts about how "bad" LTC is. The facility I am going to work for will give me an entire week of orientation, with more if needed. They will not turn a new employee loose until the employee is comfortable in being on his/her own (or so I'm told) Only thing I don't like is the Administrator makes the schedules but to be fair, she does try to accommodate the staff within reason. Even if they are not fully staffed she will give two days off after an employee works four shifts in a row, and one day off after just two or three 8 hour shifts. It does seem like she is trying to prevent burn out as best she can.
    In addition they have the best benefits of any LTC I have worked for. Medical, dental, vision, 401K, credit union, PTO, sick leave, etc...And I have worked in a lot of LTCs. Medical insurance is surprisingly low cost, even if you need to cover your whole family. Plus shift diff. is $2.50 and hour which will put me making more than I was as a MDS Nurse.

    I feel at peace with my decision...Until I read all of those discouraging posts
  9. by   Nascar nurse
    Quote from LTCNS
    I'm beginning to wonder though if I made a mistake. Post after post on here I read about the "horrors" of LTC and how much many of the nurses on here hate it. LTC is all I have ever done and have always enjoyed it. I have never had the desire to work in a clinic. Every clinic nurse I know hates the clinic lol!

    I don't know...I feel like working with the elderly is a calling. I feel so rewarded when I make a difference in just one person's day by taking the time to speak and acknowledge they exist and having someone tell me they look forward to my shifts and miss me when I'm off. Just little things like that you know?
    It does get disheartening to read all of the other posts. I struggled with this a few years ago myself. I had been an LPN (with the last 10 years of that as an MDS coordinator) and became a newly minted RN. I thought "finally, a ticket out of LTC and I'm never looking back". I went out looking around and was offered a hospital position on the ortho floor. Turned in my notice to the LTC.....but then stewed on this obsessively for several days. The conclusion I came to....I AM a LTC nurse, I AM a damn good LTC nurse, I LIKE being a LTC nurse and who really gives a crap if others think less of me for "only" being a LTC nurse! I own it is who I am and I am proud. Thank God there are some of us in this world who are really passionate about this or who would take care of all these people!

    I also see you are a well seasoned nurse. I think it's important to remember that a lot of what you read comes from newer nurses. Some days it makes me chuckle to read their horror over staffing. Actually, in my 25-30 year LTC experience, it has gotten sooooo much better. Back in my day it was just normal to have 50 residents for 1 nurse and 3 aides. I never even thought to complain - who was I going to complain to? Sure, I could quit and go get another LTC job but they were all like that. Heck I can even remember being the only nurse (as an LPN with just a few years experience) in the facility with 100 residents, 2 QMA;s and 6 CNA's.

    LTC does have its problems. It always will and will never be perfect, but it doesn't appear that the hospital or any other nursing area is without problems as well. Gain your satisfaction in your profession from within you - do not let others opinions cloud who/what you really are. Good luck
  10. by   LTCNS
    Thank you so much Nascar Nurse. Your post helps more than I can say. And yes, I am a well seasoned nurse and have worked in some pretty crummy situations and homes, but I always seek work in LTC facilities because I find it very rewarding to care for those who cannot care for themselves, many of them having no family to care for them. My heart is with those sweet old people who appreciate every smile, hello, pat on the hand, etc...
    I will have 30 residents to care for on 3-11 shift, but there were times past when I had 60 and still managed to get everything done, even with at least half of them being diabetic and having peg tubes.
  11. by   artsmom
    I just posted the other day how much I love LTC. You are not a new nurse, you know you prefer LTC and that is awesome! I think I will stick with LTC for a long time now.
  12. by   LTCNS
    Thanks artsmom. I do love those little old people
  13. by   PeppaPig
    LTCNS go where your heart calls you. I am a student who just got her acceptance letter into a nursing program yesterday, but I have been in the workforce for 30 years, mostly in management positions. I have found that every 10 to 13 years I start to get bored with the same ol, same ol. Then I move on and find my batteries charged in a new place and a new position. Keep in mind that first year it is possible to have quite a few "what have I done moments" as you get challenged by new and difficult sitiuations. However, you probably won't be bored, and it is good to strech your mind to keep it young. In no time you will be comfortable and confident once again. One of the main draws for nursing for me is the ability to go in so many different directions within the field, and to reinvent yourself every so often. Best of luck and congrats.
  14. by   CoffeeRTC
    You will do fine. Unless you've been locked in your office over the last few years and clueless as to what goes on in the LTC world, it will be okay and reading your posts you say that you have been on the floor filling in.

    Even though it was many moons ago and I wasn't an RNAC for but just a year and in management for a few....I love the transition to being "just a floor nurse"

    My kids are small, I work pt and not is it just 8 (hahah with charting ot) and out the gate. No deadlines, no chasing IDT memembers around. Work stays at work.