Problem @ multiuse facility

Nurses General Nursing


I posted this on the Texas forum, but thought I'd cross post here for more opinions/ideas to help myself and the other nurses at my facility.. THANKS!

I work at a facility that is owned by a corporation that has places in several states. It's a retirement center with independent apartments for those who can take care of themselves (and I mean independent..just like your house or apt). "Connected" is the health care side of things..assisted living, Medicare/rehab and long term care. Those who live in independent side are sold on the system with "24 hour nursing care available", and each resident is given an emergency "Help I've fallen and can't get up" necklace to use.

When one of those is pressed, an alarm goes off at my floor's nurses' station, a verrrry ollld dot matrix printer slowly spits out some information that is (hopefully, but seldon) up to date. There are 2 nurses on my floor, and one of us is expected to leave and go check out the "emergency".

My DON states that my license is covered when I go over there because "It is all under one roof" From nurses that have been there longer than myself state the previous DON said a nurse's license was NOT covered over there, since it is "Independent".

The nurses on the floor are frustrated.. most of the time we have more than enough to do without taking 20 minutes and walking over to the apartments and checking someone out that we really know NOTHING about. And (this is our main argument) what about the patients we are assigned to on the medicare unit??? Things were horrid last week on both halls..I was swamped and so was the other nurse. I was not around when the alarm went off, she was and she told that she was too busy to go over there. At this point I am surprised they didn't fire her, but she did get "written up" . When we make the point that we couldnt leave our patients, or what is an emergency happens on the floor, we are told "That's why there are two nurses"

There's a *reason* I don't work ER ....not my thing. I like knowing my residents, and *knowing* when sonething is "off" or normal behavior for them.

Anyone here have any idea if my butt is covered if I go over there?

I've perused the BON web site, but really haven't found anything that pertains.




693 Posts

What a strange situation! I've never heard of such a setup, but there are many things I haven't heard of...

I don't know how any nurse could safely leave the assigned patients to go to another location and check out a possible emergency! I would suggest contacting the BON (not just looking on the website) to ask about the situation. I would also contact Medicare to ask about regulations regarding the independent apartments in combination with the assisted living/ LTC.

It actually sounds almost like a scam. Those alarms should contact emergency personnel, not a nurse who is already assigned to care for the residents in an adjoining facility!

Is there a local newspaper that you could contact to investigate the situation?

And, if it were me, I would look for another job.

Quickbeam, BSN, RN

1,011 Posts

Specializes in Government.

I have relatives in a similar set up but the response nurse is dedicated to just that task and works exclusively with the Independent Living (IL) wing. And yes, she is a former ER nurse.

I can't imagine how you could see to the IL emergencies and staff a busy LTC floor as well. The IL emergencies tend to be variable but the folks always need some TLC and face time. You can't do both...t'aint right!

joyflnoyz, LPN

356 Posts

Specializes in home health.

Thanks for the may be a few days before I can get to the BON (my dad will be admitted to hospice on Saturday..just too much going on right now)

My "floormate" nurse has not shown up for work the past 2 days.. she was written up for not going over to IL one night. The DON seems to on the warpath..I think she's under the gun from Corporate for whatever reason, and taking it out on the nursing staff

I can't justify leaving my unit for Independent living possible emergency.

Some of the things that they press the lifeline for? "My airconditioner isn't working right" "I have a light bulb burnt out" "I tracked in some dirt on the carpet and need you to vacuum it up"

Housekeeping leaves at 1500, maintainance at 1600. The phone at my desk becomes the receptionist at 2000.

It's just not fun anymore.... sigh

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