The following blog was sent to me as a response to my blog concerning LTC (Long Term Care) This is a young woman who is now second guessing her decision of becoming a nurse after working in LTC. There was times over my 32 years that I wanted to quit nursing but I couldn’t. I liked caring for my patients. It is never the patient care that makes us want to quit, it is all the peripheral garbage going on. If you are not going into nursing because you feel in your heart it is what you are supposed to be doing, then don’t start it. Find something else to do. It is a tough profession from dealing with all the political garbage going on to budget cuts. This article is the downside of LTC and unfortunately I feel it happens all to often and it doesn’t matter where you live in the country. Do not put your loved one in a home unless you checked it out thourghly. Visit at different times of the day. Maybe go with a friend and visit some of the patients, watch and listen to what is going on around you. If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them.
After working as a CNA in this facility for just 2 weeks, I have a new appreciation of the reasons why people do not want to work in LTC: and a desire not to work with the elderly is NOT one of the reasons.
Suffice to say, I’ve been off from work for 5 days due to a parasitic infection that I contracted from either or my job site and I’ve felt an extraordinary amount of anxiety regarding return to work because, during my last shift at work, we were out of PPE supplies, including gloves.
Other issues that I’ve encountered while working as a CNA:
- Nurses and CNA’s sleeping at work, in the hallways and all over the facility.
- Lack of supplies, such as briefs (the wrong size is usually available), soap (usually can find some soap somewhere in the building, just not where it should be), bed sheets AND gloves!
- An expectation what some patient care tasks must be pushed aside, for example, are not changing their briefs more than 1 time per shift and ignoring a patients call for help due to pain from bleeding wounds.
- We are told not to wear gloves all of the time to respect the patient’s dignity, but I just contracted scabies!
- In most cases, staff fails to wash hands between residents, nor change their gloves between residents. New gloves aren’t put on even after removing a soiled brief.
- Briefs with feces and urine in them are tossed on the floor and picked up later on. A nurse laughed at me for wearing PPE when doing a brief change on a resident on contact precautions for MRSA or C-DIFF (no-one knows which one because the print on the form is cut off) but she is on contact precautions.
- I don’t know if the management knows or cares about any of this. I kind of think that some of them do know.
- Failure to document important issues on the part of the nurses and the C.N.A.’s.
I’m feeling very discouraged about working as a nurse, now.