MR/MDD Nursing?

by wishinguponastarLPN wishinguponastarLPN Member Nurse

Specializes in Rehab, LTC.

So I am new grad who started in LTC about 6 weeks ago. The place I currently work is O.K....its the typically LTC place (poorly ran, short staffed, high pt ratios, ect) But I have grown to like my residents and the people I work with.

I've actually done very well and have adapted pretty easily. Today I got a call for an interview that I submitted a resume to back when I graduated. It is a MR/MDD State ran facility, it is closer to home and more pay. I am interested in this field. I currently have 25 residents and 2 of my residents have a history of MR/MDD and they are my favorite ones!:redbeathe

I have asked around to other nurses about this facility and they all say good things about it, but many of them said they were not able to deal with the behaviors and they seizures. Can you tell me more about this? Also, have any of you worked in LTC, how would you compare? I'm not certain of the age of the population just yet, I THINK there may be an adult side and a pediatrics side. It is also 2nd shift. Any thoughts, advice, ect, would be great.


Hospice Nurse LPN, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, Hospice. Has 15 years experience. 1,472 Posts

I worked w/ the MR/MDD population before and during LPN school. I worked in a group home for about a year, then moved to the independent living side when I started school. I worked as a tech, but I absolutely loved it. My clients were all adults (some of them past retirement age).

I remember one elderly gentleman who had absolutely no family. I would bring him to my home for holidays. My kids loved him! When I graduated and we moved away, my youngest was worried about "Vernon". He had spent so much time w/ us, my son thought he was a relative.

I've also worked LTC and there is just no comparison. Of course, in LTC I had 30+ residents and the most we had in the group home was 5. Good luck w/ your decision.


tainted1972, ASN, RN

Specializes in MR/DD. Has 3 years experience. 271 Posts

I currently work with individuals who have disabilities, and I absolutely LOVE it! I have been in this particular field for close to 20 years. (1.5 as a nurse).

State run facilities do tend to have more behavioral problems than other places. The good thing, is that most behaviors are dealt with by the direct care staff. Some of our nurses just call for help. I prefer to deal with them myself, unless it is interfering with my med pass. ( I do not work in a state run facility) As for the seizures: I have seen many different types of seizures throughout my career. Sometimes they are very mild and other times they are full blown and can be very scary. Once you know what to do, it isn't so bad. Remember that most people take medications to control the seizures. I have noticed that I see more seizures in children, probably due to needing medication adjustments as they grow. Usually seizures are controlled in adults, for my residents it is pretty rare for them to have seizures.

The field of MR/DD has many rewards and challenges. You must be very observant because so many are unable to communicate their needs to you. I definitely rely on my "gut" and pay attention to body language. Compassion and respect is the key to being successful in this field.

In my particular facility I do not get to do many skills. I have 2 homes I work out of for a total of 22 residents. It is mostly oral medications and treatments such as powders and creams.

DD is a great field if you plan on sticking with it, I have found that it is hard to get employed anywhere "else" once you get into it. I think it is because employers do not understand exactly what type of work we do. Although I love the work that I do and the people I care for, I really want to do something else. I need to expand my horizons a bit.

If you take this job, you will feel like you are making a difference, you will get attached very easily to your residents, as they have a way of making you feel special too. They have unconditional love, as they know no prejudice. Take the time to get to know the person you are caring for, I have noticed that my residents are who they are, meaning that they have not become what society thinks they should be. They express themselves in ways that they want to (sometimes it can be funny, other times not so much! LOL). You will not be just another employee you will be a new member of a family :).