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Positive experiences in LTC?

Posted

Specializes in geriatrics.

Hi everyone

I am a recent grad, and I've accepted a part time position in LTC. We had a placement in LTC in school, so I do have some idea of what it is like. I am looking forward to it. The nurses seem quite friendly, and they have been very welcoming. I am interested to hear some feedback from those of you who enjoy geriatrics/LTC please. While it is challenging, I feel that LTC is not viewed as favourably sometimes. I think LTC can be very rewarding. What are your thoughts? Thanks.

azcna

Specializes in LTC, Rehab, CCU, Alzheimers, Med-Surg. Has 3 years experience.

I'm not a nurse, but I love LTC. Very hard, but it has it's perks. You get to know the residents very well.

Jen{NAR}

Specializes in Long term care.

I am also not a nurse, but with being a NAR at a LTC facility I get a wide perspective from the admins, nurses, dietary, and fellow NARs. I really love my job. I think that the ability to get to know and care for your residents longer than 8 hours is a huge benefit. It is definitely tough and doesn't pay the greatest but it pays enough and it is very satisfying to go into your job and see your residents. They also are glad to see you and to me it feels kind of like a second home. I find this job a little less like a job and more like--I don't know the word for it. If someone knows the word for it let me know.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

My pay is actually great, so that isn't even an issue. I notice that many people seem to have the impression that LTC is not as good as other areas, which I don't believe to be true. Also, nurses are caring for older adults no matter what the area is (except peds obviously). I am happy to get the experience, and the job is what you make of it. Thanks for your replies :)

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

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

Moving this to the Geriatric Nurses/LTC forum. :)

I'm glad to see some positive comments about long-term and geriatric care. I've spent the lion's share of my career working with the elderly, and no matter where else I've worked, I've always come back to geriatrics. I love them---enjoy hearing their stories and their funny sayings, and learning from them. Maybe it's because I'm not too far away from joining their ranks, maybe it's just because I miss having parents, but I do love working with older people.:D

As for why we geriatric nurses are looked down on in some circles, I honestly don't know the answer to that, but I do know that it's 100% pure BS. I've used ALL of my nursing skills, plus countless others that nobody writes about in books, while working in nursing homes that are poorly staffed and stocked even worse. No, LTC doesn't have the drama or the 'cachet' of the more glamorous nursing jobs in trauma centers or big-city ICUs, but it's no less interesting, and it certainly requires a lot of creativity. :lol2:

etaoinshrdluRN

Specializes in LTC, OB, psych. Has 2 years experience.

LTC is a special place, and does not deserve the dissing other areas of nursing seem to give it. While I did not like the routine charting, which, in LTC is mind numbing in its repetitiveness, I loved the chance to really get to know residents, to use my nurturing side quite often, and to help families of the demented let go and unwind after the difficult experience of giving a loved one over to a NH. Even the routine stuff was gratifying if I could give some insight to a rounding physician or help solve a problem. And there was even drama, with behaviors and emergencies galore. I hate to say it, but as an old EMS warhorse, sometimes a split open scalp or a code would remind me that I still could bring the good care, and give a good old adrenaline jolt as well.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

The reality is, we all get old. I would hate for someone not to want to care for me just because... I too will require a nurse someday. Older adults can be very sweet and funny. Even the miserable ones tend to soften up after a while with care and a calm approach. And I do agree that nurses utilize many essential skills.

Butterfliesnroses

Specializes in LTC.

I really enjoy getting to know my residents! I've worked there for 6 yrs. I was a CNA there and then more recently I've been a nurse there for a few months. Some of the residents I've worked there have been there the whole time I've worked there. Like someone else said I view the place as a second home almost. I've invested so much time in that place.

NurseCard, ADN

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

I'm a (somewhat) seasoned nurse who has a strong background in both Med/Surge and Psych. I honestly never thought that I would find an area of nursing that I truly truly love, until I came to LTC last month. I have truly enjoyed my job so far. I enjoy so much working with the elderly, and getting to know them, and seeing their faces every day. Though I treat them all well and equal, I do have my favorites, and I know how hard it will be to lose them. :crying2:

Anyway, I work in a wonderful place, and I have found that it is definately possible to have a positive experience in LTC!!! :)

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

hi everyone

i am a recent grad, and i've accepted a part time position in ltc. we had a placement in ltc in school, so i do have some idea of what it is like. i am looking forward to it. the nurses seem quite friendly, and they have been very welcoming. i am interested to hear some feedback from those of you who enjoy geriatrics/ltc please. while it is challenging, i feel that ltc is not viewed as favourably sometimes. i think ltc can be very rewarding. what are your thoughts? thanks.

i don't work ltc and i never have. however, i have a mother-in-law in a nursing home and a mother in assisted living. i think people who work in ltc caring for memory patients must have the patience of a saint! i have nothing but great things to say about the nurses and techs caring for mother and mamita. mamita is uncooperative, nasty, combative and loves to make scenes. her caregivers treat her pleasantly and with respect anyway. mother has alzheimer's and seems to be stuck somewhere in the 1960s. every day, she packs up everything in her room because she's "going home today", and every day she unpacks it all and puts it away. sometimes more than once. yet the people who care for her never fail to pleasant, calm and supportive. (i'd probably lose it halfway through the first day!)

i cannot think of enough nice things to say about the people who care for mother and mamita . . . they're wonderful!

wifeandmomoftwo

Specializes in LTC.

I started my first job as an LPN a month ago in LTC. I was scared mostly because of some of the stories I've heard. So far, I've had a good experience though. The nurses have been welcoming and help me out if I need advice or I have more than one resident in need of a nurse at a time.

I love working with the elderly. I love the fact that they have 80-90 years of life experience and such amazing history and stories about life and the world. It makes me really sad that their voices are becoming silent and younger generations are no longer interested; what a loss of knowledge.

I'm going to keep listening though. One of those days that will be me and hopefully someone will value what I have to offer and what I have learned from those who came before me.

So definitely. Despite all the problems of working in LTC, it is worth every minute.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

Thank you everyone for sharing. I have always taken something positive away from my experiences, and I am looking forward to my new job. I feel so fortunate that I have finally been able to accomplish my RN. Since going out on my own at 16, I wanted to be a nurse, but I never thought it would be possible. Now, at 37, the impossible happened. I plan to cherish it, and the people who I care for. While older adults can be challenging, I have learned calm and patience throughout my life experiences. I've survived a lot, and I am able to put things in perspective, be thankful, and give to someone else. More importantly, given this economy, I am so happy to have a job right out of school.

As others have mentioned, older adults are a wealth of knowledge. We can all learn a lot from them. They deserve to be taken care of. Once, I had a 90 year old pt remark, "I don't want to be a bother." I said, "you're not a bother. I enjoy being with you. You cared for everyone else. Now it's your turn." She smiled and held my hand.

Marie13

Has 1 years experience.

Well, it looks better on your resume to have acute experience. I work in a SNF and it is my first job as LVN. I was so overwhelmed at first, but now I've learned to do things faster, time management (sort of), pretty much getting the hang of things. Even though I'm not "new new", I'm still learning things everyday, that is the beauty of nursing. Anyway, I feel so attached to my patients, when they have a change in condition, I feel for them and I want them to get better. I even feel sad that I'm not going to see them someday, either because they're in their late 90's or I'm going back to school :/

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

As far as the resume goes, I feel that I can still sell myself. Jobs are scarce right now, and I have loans. This LTC was the best offer, and I grabbed it. I did my last placement on an acute floor, but that hospital is laying nurses off. Also, I did not want casual or temp only. I'll make it work somehow. The way I see it, geriatric experience is beneficial no matter what, since the entire population is aging. Plus I am going to a small town so I would be able to get some training in the hospital there also.

itsmejuli

Specializes in Home Care.

I love my LTC job :)

I work with a mix of residents from age 28 to 102, with diagnoses including dementia, stoke, CHF, COPD, and various mental illnesses.

I use many of my nursing skills every shift. We often have people on IVs, we get trach patients, we have people with foleys.

I will probably stay in long term care once I get my RN. Probably won't have any choice with the job market the way it is. Today I asked to be crossed trained into MDS for PRN. I'm going to make myself as marketable as possible.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

With your experience in LTC already, you won't have a problem to get an RN job there. LTC is not too difficult to find. Its all the other areas that are saturated right now. Many nurses seem to regard LTC as a last option unfortunately.

agldragonRN

Specializes in Wound Care, LTC, Sub-Acute, Vents. Has 5 years experience.

i love my ltc patients but i hate the management. i get to know them really well and when something is "off" or out of the norm, i would know immediately and do my assessments and call md and get appropriate orders.

i feel so appreciated by my patients when they tell me "oh you've been off two days, thank god you are back", or "i know i will get better because you are my nurse now" or "i won't take any meds from any nurse except you because i trust you"-(my bipolar patient), etc....

i still do not understand why ltc nursing is looked down on. i use so many nursing skills and know so many meds and my time management and prioritization skills is excellent.

good luck to you op and i hope you enjoy your ltc experience.

angel