What does "I'll do the paperwork" really mean?


  • Specializes in Substance abuse, hospice. Has 1 years experience.

I was a new LPN at an ALF. The job is mainly just passing meds. Two questions:

1. Is it typical for one nurse to pass meds to 80 residents?

2. Am I supposed to be a mind reader. The CNA told the DON one evening that one resident appeared to be unconscious. In my presence, the DON said "I'll do the paperwork on her." So I continued to pass 8:00 meds, hoping to finish before 9, which is almost impossible. The next night there was an incident with another patient, and since I was the only nurse there I stopped passing meds and took over, etc. I was there until midnight. Anyway, the DON calls me into her office 2 days later and says she was disappointed because I didn't do the paperwork on the first patient, etc. ***** Why didn't she just tell me to stop passing meds and take over. After that conversation, I had to leave, for good. I wish them luck in finding someone to fill that 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m. shift that only pays for 3.5 hours even if you have to stay late. Am I overreacting?

CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

3,734 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

#2....I've learned to alway check to make sure people have done what they said they will do for me. Did she mean charting or were you sending this person out to the hospital?

#1..I don't know about ALF but in LTC, I think that is way to many even for just a few hr med pass.

#3...If I'm staying late....I'm getting paid.

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 15 years experience.

it sounds like a miscommunication, which happens a lot no matter where you go. in the future, be sure to follow up with someone who states "i will do x,y,z" because you are ultimately responsible as the patient's nurse to see that the task was completed. besides, a lot of times when someone says he/she will do something he/she just means writing down the patient's name! for example, i had multiple nurses tell me "i will triage your ems patient" and the only thing that nurse did was put in a c/o and the patients name & dob. gl!

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

Improve your communication skills, but meanwhile, I think you made the right job choice.


270 Posts

Specializes in LTC, AL, Corrections, Home health. Has 3 years experience.

1. 80 patients is rediculous. I worked in assisted living with that many, or more like 90 residents, once but there were three medication aides and I did insulin and other nursing tasks no meds.

2. I have learned not to trust anyone to do anything that was originally my job, no matter who it is! You have to follow up, because you will end up on the hook for it. I don't even know what that means, if ever you don't know what is expected of you be sure to ask.

3. Legally they cannot force you to work off the clock. If I stay an entire hour after my shift, whether it is because a reisdent fell last minute or the on coming nurse was late, I am getting paid for it.

I don't think you were over reacting, think it is probably for the best.


38,333 Posts

No, you are not overreacting. I was once hired for a four hour shift to do a med pass only. The other nurses tried to get me to also do weekly summaries. I couldn't even get the med pass done and handle doctor calling, etc. I had to leave too.

Just a suggestion ....never trust that anyone will do what is your job. That's been said already...but, if ya want something done right, do it yourself. Also....I'm glad you left! Yay! Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen at this place...oh our poor elders who have no choice but to be patients!!! YES! You ought to always get paid while you are working! This sort of freaks me out. Many blessings and clearer horizons for you darling!

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

#3...If I'm staying late....I'm getting paid.

Absolutely why is it nursing accepts working with out pay still? We need to stand up for ourselves more and say no means no!


338 Posts

Has 25ish years experience.

I think I must be missing something or don't understand. The ALF's that I'm familiar with are for people who, for the most part, are medically stable and primarily need assistance with transportation and meals. Wouldn't an unconscious person warrant a coordinated response by available clinical staff ?

Duh, Old Timer...WAS I EVER IGNORANT !!!!!! : -) . Thank you so much. I am imagining a bunch of our old elders.........I am such a green nurse.

But even makes the event of the OP more frightening!!! Yikes.


1,024 Posts

Specializes in Peds Medical Floor. Has 12 years experience.

I've worked in LTC for 9 years. At least in LTC I've never passed meds to more than 25 residents. I always do all my own work (if I'm sending someone out I do all the work for it) OR I double check the person who is helping me's work because I am responsible for it. And I never work without getting paid. Screw that!


33 Posts

Specializes in Substance abuse, hospice. Has 1 years experience.

Thanks for the replies, everyone. There are residents at this ALF who should be in a nursing home. The standard procedure for all incidents is the same: Call 911. I wasn't allowed to provide first aid. I wasn't even required to carry a stethoscope. The place really needs to be inspected. They drop pills on the floor and give them to patients. One of the med techs wears acrylic nails. One day the water was slightly pink. The keys to the narc cart are left hanging on the wall, so anyone can come in and steal drugs. That place is a lawsuit waiting to happen. 7 days were plenty for me. I'll just keep that place off my resume and hope no one finds out that I ever worked there.