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Short Staffed Nursing Homes

I am curious if other nurses have experienced huge work loads in nursing homes? How did you cope/handle it?

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6 Responses to “Short Staffed Nursing Homes”

  1. andrea whiting Says:

    Wow! You really hit a nerve with this question!
    I just interviewed and was hired into a “nursing home” position. I have worked in a hospital setting for over 20 years with supplemental agency assignments. I love nursing. However, this full time position was so overwhelming I never made it through Orientation. It was a night shift assignment with responsibilities for over 40 residents. The med pass for 6am took 4 hours! The orienting nurse began pouring up meds at Midnight.There were skin assessments, treatments and Trach care as well as the ever present tube feeds to be done on this shift. The assignment covered 3 halls and was overwhelming for me. So many State infractions I was flabberghasted. I have worked in many facilities but never saw anything like this. Understaffing seems to be the norm but this was the worst I’ve ever experienced. Needless to say, we were not a good fit and I was happy to receive my Orientation pay and be gone. It’s wrenching to see “warehousing” and it was a first for me. There are very good long term facilities but most of the residence are private pay which makes all the difference.

  2. claudiak Says:

    I am orienting in a nursing home. I am a new grad and need a FT job with benefits. I was offered this job and was happy to get it. I started orienting recently and felt completely overwhelmed. Med passes take hours. I see a lot of corners being cut. I feel very stressed out wondering if I can handle the workload. The other nurses seem to handle it. Many of them have worked there for years. I am very nervous about when I have to handle the ward solo. I just don’t know if I will be able to get all of the work done.

  3. BonneJuju Says:

    I am in my 3rd week at a nursing home, and I am overwhelmed, too. I’m on 2nd shift, and we have 2 nurses and 3 CNAs for 40 patients; and we’re on a rehab unit that has semi-acute and acute pts. They expect us to chart on every patient, charting takes forever because there is redundant (double and triple) paper charting that is supposed to get done, on top of treatments, complicated med passes, and assessments. Not only were my preceptorship lax in teaching me about paperwork, but there are major communication problems (lack!) among the staff and administration. Not to mention the fact that there’s a nurse that I have to interact with at shift change who is downright mean to me (because she’s unhappy, because she’s an LPN and I’m an RN, or because she’s just a biddy – I’m not sure) with no reason. Even though I love working with the patients and their families (well, 99.9% of the time), I dread going to work when I know I’ll have to take over for her.

  4. J Says:

    I am a new LVN, just out of school. My first job is in a nursing and rehab center. I went through my orientation and was not taught anything about all of the required documentation or even how to call the doctor if needed. My assessment skills are quite lacking- that is probably an understatement. I work second shift and I’m in charge of 40 residents. I’m a nervous wreck all the time and I panic when any little thing goes wrong. I do not feel comfortable with my position. I’m considering quitting, unfortunately. I really love ‘my’ residents, which is why I do not think I am the right person for this job. The nurse: resident ratio is a little overwhelming to me.

  5. diane Says:

    Glad I am not alone! I am an LPN with over 20 years of acute care experience (was IV, ACLS, PALS certified and worked med surg, ortho, ICU, peds). I made the mistake of letting my license lapse in 2004 because of family responsibilities. I recently completed a re-entry program and guess what? They don’t hire LPN’s in hospitals around here anymore. Even with all of my years of experience, I was not prepared for work in a long-term care facility. My experience has been what all of the previous posters have said – too many residents for one person and two aides (25), many with higher acuity (tube feedings, IV’s, dressing changes), a zillion meds (today I was giving the 8 am’s along with the noon’s)ridiculously redundant paperwork and no training for any of that part of the job either, no unit secretaries, lack of supplies, etc. etc. I can’t get my RN soon enough.

  6. debi Says:

    ive been a lpn for 14 years and what everyone is describing is unfortunately becoming the norm in ltc facilitys, a job i had just left i had 26 residents and 440 meds to pass, that was ridicioulous!i moved to a different facility and even though its better , i noticed a increase in meds in this facility too, i try to get meds decreased or d.c’d whenever possible , especially if a resident refuses it for a month or more , they can always be given prn if needed.

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