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U.S. nursing homes face growing nurse shortage

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Brian has 16 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele.

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Nursing homes short of personnel

Ms. Treinkman, past president of the National Conference of Gerontological Nurse Practitioners, said there is a shortage of long-term care nurses, with approximately 96,000 LPNs, registered nurses and certified nursing assistants needed to fill vacant positions at nursing homes in the U.S.

She said that between 2000 and 2010 there is a projected 45 percent increase in demand for long-term care workers-or 800,000 new jobs. And by 2020 the population of those 65 and over will outnumber the population of caregivers, she said to the audience of 1,000 nursing students from 19 schools across the state...

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http://www.telegram.com/article/20080417/NEWS/804170393/1002/RSS01&source=rss

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2,801 Posts; 13,520 Profile Views

800,000 new jobs that ask you to compromise on patient care & possibly put your license (and health!) at risk due to ridiculous workload demands and/or pay so little (CNAs especially!!) that you can't make a career out of it... yeah!!! 800,000 new jobs!!! High demand!!! What great opportunities to look forward to!!!!... sigh.

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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I'm an LVN/LPN who has spent most of my career in nursing homes. I have had loads of up to 70 patients to care for at my last night shift job, with only 2 CNAs to help. These were not your traditional geriatric patients, either.

I had trachs, multiple feeding tubes, PICC lines to flush and heparinize, younger psych patients, people to send out to dialysis (which requires prior assessment) and a whole mixed bag of other types of residents.

I sense that our Baby Boomers are in trouble. . .

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1,355 Posts; 14,020 Profile Views

No wonder there is such a severe shortage and yes,it will get worse, until LTCs improve working conditions in the dungeons, our elderly will be the victims of this trend which can be put squarely on the shoulders of the corporate GREED.

These LTCs are the armpit of health care in America, a shame.

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**All Heart RN** specializes in Cardiac.

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I don't know about the rest of you but when I read this article, I couldn't help but feel cynicism and anger rush through my veins. The keynote speaker tried to paint a rosy picture of a situation that is just deplorable to a group of incoming students.

I have worked at a few nursing homes and Alzheimer's facilities and the idea that these places have remained open, despite visits from the State, sends fear through me. I don't know about the rest of this country but long-term care facilities throughout Ohio are just downright disgusting. The way the residents are treated is disgusting, the way the staff is treated is disgusting and the lack of resources available is disgusting.

As a nursing student, I learned all about decubitus ulcers through working at nursing homes. There were never enough staff (or the staff that was there were either overworked or lazy and abusive) so residents that needed to be turned weren't and they sat there in their own excrement for hours while their skin slowly broke down...eventually one resident died due to infection that set in...ultimately due to the lack of care received.

So this speaker thinks that throwing more warm bodies to the situation is going to help...

That's like throwing a band-aid on a Stage 4--it's worthless.

The problem surrounding long-term care facilities goes so much deeper than staffing issues but everyone knows that. What will it take to see some real change?

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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I have worked at a few nursing homes and Alzheimer's facilities and the idea that these places have remained open, despite visits from the State, sends fear through me.

These places remain open due to the payor sources (typically Medicaid, with some Medicare mixed into the bag). If the facility is only receiving $100 per day per patient from state Medicaid for the stay at the nursing home, then the administrators are only going to staff threadbare and minimally in order to extract some profits from the operation.

Acute care hospitals receive a wide range of payor sources, such as private insurance, HMOs, PPOs, Medicaid, private pay, Medicare, managed care plans, and gap insurance. Therefore, hospitals can staff more adequately.

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**All Heart RN** specializes in Cardiac.

260 Posts; 8,168 Profile Views

These places remain open due to the payor sources (typically Medicaid, with some Medicare mixed into the bag). If the facility is only receiving $100 per day per patient from state Medicaid for the stay at the nursing home, then the administrators are only going to staff threadbare and minimally in order to extract some profits from the operation.

My point exactly!!! The payor source is completely irrelevant to me. I am wholly disgusted by the entire system. I am disgusted by a system that would continually fund a program that breeds neglect, malnutrition, and abuse of staff and patients.

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My problem with LTC might sound awful to many, but I simply do not understand how people can be expected to survive working in a situation where the only decent outcome for most of the patients is death, and then the facility gets in trouble when a dying person actually deteriorates and dies.

We really need to see a paradigm - shift in which the very old and debilitated are almost automatically place on comfort - care only and their remaining time made as pleasant and loving as possible. When someone will die if they miss Lasix for two days maybe, just maybe, it is time to let them go.

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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My problem with LTC might sound awful to many, but I simply do not understand how people can be expected to survive working in a situation where the only decent outcome for most of the patients is death, and then the facility gets in trouble when a dying person actually deteriorates and dies.[/qUOTE]I agree. It angers me to see very ill 98-year-old ladies with multiple disease processes who are full codes, mostly because their families are too selfish to let go.

Sorry, but no person has been placed on this world to live forever.

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I am a person of 60 years so when I say this I want people to realize that I am talking about myself. At a certain age people should be required to pay a portion of their own health care cost. So each year you live passed a certain age you can have all the care you want but you got to pick up part of the tab. Or perhaps there should be a life time limit after a certain age. You would soon see a stop to this business of 99 year olds on dialysis with full code status.

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28 Posts; 1,347 Profile Views

"the staff that was there were either overworked or lazy and abusive" ... Somehow I agree totally to this statement. I did my clinical in nursing homes and it appalled me to see how "lazy and abusive" some workers were. Some with the "I don't care" attitude, would chit-chat to one another, rather than checking on the residents.

There was one resident who told me that she had bath only twice a week and how uncomfortable she felt. She said she wld like to have it daily and I asked her why she didnt make a request. She told me she rather not cos she didnt want them to change their attitude towards her as that wld mean giving them more work.

My classmate and I gave her a shower and we did according to what we hv learnt in class. She cldnt stop expressing her thanks and was very happy that we cleaned her so thoroughly.

I also observed that there were very old residents who seemed to be sleeping all the time and needed total care. They cldnt even answer nor nod their head when I asked them if they had swallowed the food.. I think they were on full code. If so, that is something I can never understand.

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SchnauzersRock has 16 years experience.

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Over the past 16 years, I have worked in my fair share of nursing homes. The pay was excellent, but I hated every one I had to step foot in. They are depressing places. The workload was horrible, too. Three huge med passes everyday, 30-40 residents to monitor, and managers who were only interested in making it look good for corporate. I always felt sorry for the STNA's as well. They were also overworked and short-staffed. As far as the bath issue, in every home I worked in, the residents only got bathed two days per week, the other days they were partial-bathed. I can see why there is a shortage of nursing home workers.

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