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Overworked in Nursing Homes


Has 2 years experience.

I'm a new nurse and working in a nursing home. It is impossible to get all your work done in 8 hours! I struggle daily with med pass, treatments and the billions of papers needed to be completed. How do nurses do it? I have been told to take "short cuts" but don't want to. I have even had "seasoned" nurses tell me to only give important meds and just sign off on the others. I am frustrated and discouraged. I love nursing but never thought it would be like this.

Does anyone know who I could contact to complain about this? The nursing home is grossly understaffed and patients are in danger. I can't sleep knowing that this is going on and have to report it. The establishment doesn't seem to care.



Specializes in oncology/hospice/medsurg. Has 7 years experience.

Call your state board of nursing and ask, or try you local health department. There is always JACHO, they love to catch these kind of things. Do safe care and don't take short cuts that are harmful to patients, and NEVER sign out a med you didn't give.


Specializes in Pysch, Corrections, MedSurg.

Yeah...I agree with the above post. Never sign a med that you didn't give and don't take shortcuts that put the resident in danger. I would definately look into reporting the facility. It's not right what is going on there

Valerie Salva, BSN, RN

Has 19 years experience.

Sounds like typical LTC. I have worked in many, and have never seen one that was adequately staffed.

I take that back- the only adequately staffed LTC I've ever seen was in a VA hospital. Can you try the VA?


Has 2 years experience.

Thanks. I tried to get through to the board of nursing and it's impossible. I can call my local board of health, or is there another division I need to call?


Has 7 years experience.

I feel your pain. I do as well work in LTC. If at the end of my shift if I gave all the meds and did the txs that were needed, my job is done. Paper work will always be there and there is always a another staff member that can did it. I learned over the years not to sweat the small stuff, tend to ur residents and the daily work that is required and if u don't finish that quarterly...oh well. Hang in there u will find ur own way of things and be a great nurse.

"I have even had "seasoned" nurses tell me to only give important meds and just sign off on the others."

That is scary...I would not hesitate to leave. I am new and haven't started to work yet but I am worried about the very same thing. I hope you can get out a find a better job soon OK :(. Good Luck

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

No. You NEVER take shortcuts that endanger the patients. What you do is realize that the med passes are set up the way they are not] because they are efficient, but because they give people something to do........that Senokot scheduled all by itself for 1600 can be given just as easily at 2000 with the other five meds scheduled for that time period. What you do is take care of the paperwork at the end of the shift after all the REAL care is done. You don't sign off on things you didn't do, you don't neglect to give meds; you just have to increase efficiency. And you don't always tell TPTB that you've done so.......

chevyv, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gero Psych, Ortho Rebab, LTC, Psych. Has 20 years experience.

I am still in orientation in ltc and I feel the same way! I also get the same advice: to cut corners. I'm just finishing up orientation and take so long to do my first med pass and I haven't had much experience with orders yet. A nurse told me that I shouldn't be checking the meds 2 or more times, I wear gloves too much (eye drops and glucose checks), and I need to get both roomies meds out at the same time. I don't know these residents and I have a feeling, as a newbie, I would get the roomies meds mixed up for sure. I'm so frustrated. I have never gotten out on time yet! It's going to be so much later once I'm on my own. I'm scared and fed up at the same time.

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