Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

I Love Working In Geriatrics And Long-term Care

February 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Certified Nursing Assistant

I worked in geriatric nursing and long-term care for over 20 years. The same scenario was played hundreds of times in my career. It goes something like this: I meet a new person who asks me what I do in life. I tell them I’ma nurse. They are impressed and asked the hospital where I work. I told them I’m currently working on a nursing home. As I can see their faces, it is usually always the same. Changes in the expression of awe and wonder and sometimes disgust disappointment. It’s like if a nurse is a wonderful thing to be proud of unless you are a nurse, LTC, in this case, not a “real nurse” because they do not work in a hospital. Several times, not knowing what to say, simply respond: “. I could never do that,” I bite my tongue at this point because I want to say that I agree, they could probably never do.

Usually it’s the end of the conversation because so many people are convinced that you are a nursing home nurse, and they are not “smart enough” or “fairly aggressive” to work in a hospital. But other times, not the end of the conversation and someone asks you why you work in a nursing home. I had to really think about this question and find answers that people needed to hear.

There are so many things to learn in a retirement home! Many nursing homes interdependent and services market. This means that services every day that nurses in the hospital is asking the support staff to address nursing nurses have to learn and test themselves.

When a diabetic needs advice on diet and not a nutritionist Department, this responsibility lies with the nurse. When a patient was recently diagnosed with gout, is a nurse who explains the need for dietary protein. And when the patient has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and wants to know why can not have another container of water, guess who’s coming to explain this? You guessed it, a nurse.

Another set of external services is physical, occupational and speech work primarily Monday through Friday and for just a few hours a day if you are in a small institution. This means that for the rest of the day, the staff working with patients in these things. It is for the nurse to learn how proper range of motion, to help and ask the patient how to properly use their new tools and cutlery few. It is also the nurse to form the NAC in the proper techniques to make these things so well from the therapists have little time to do this training.

Normally there is no laboratory facilities contained in long-term care as if there were in the hospital. This means that the nurses withdraw their own blood and start and maintain their own IV.

Podiatrists? Maybe every 63 days because that’s what makes health insurance. In dealing with issues between the feet? It is true nurses. There is no call to come upstairs to listen to a “bad nail,” or something like fungus. The nurse learns what properties look like fungus and then make phone calls.

And then there are the phone calls. Character building phone calls any time of day and night. Drs. rarely make rounds in the LTC, therefore, the nurse is responsible for learning the medical terminology to describe a condition of perfection to get the right answers and orders.

Despite popular belief, CLT homes and nursing are not places where people go to die. Therefore, not everyone is a “no code.” For the nurse, it could mean running a code in the middle of the night with another staff member in the building. There is no “button code” on the wall you can push and a dozen people come available. For the staff of long-term care, a code of how to call 911 while running in the hallway on his way to retrieve an Ambu bag or machine DEA and hope that no fire in the city or have to wait a little for ambulance volunteers to reach out to help.

I could go on, but the end result: in any other part you get what you get working in geriatrics and long-term care. I learned more and still learning more each day to work as head nurse in a nursing home I’ve done in a hospital. So when I looked up and asked why I work in a nursing home, my answer is because I chose to get the education and experience that I can not find elsewhere. And when they say that “I could never do:” I secretly smile and say: “No, probably could not!”