In my search for part-time work, I found a Nursing Home/Rehab facility near my home to do some work at. I had always said I wouldn’t go back into being a Charge Nurse in this type of environment, but I figured maybe somethings had changed. Well, I was wrong about that ish! Same ole same with the med carts being in disarray, CNA’s short on the floor, call lights being ignored, and the Charge Nurse, a respected one anyway, is responsible to make sure all these things are corrected and efficient during their shift. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a challenge but this on a daily basis is like you playing Russian roulette with your Nursing License. I do not have time for that, and will not endanger my lively hood or my patients lives. So here is what happened.
I arrive for orientation to the unit at 6:50a, just to take note of how report goes and see everything first hand. I figured, from what we learned in the training class, this nursing home job could be okay. Ha! That was a laugh because my preceptor did not acknowledge me, and the other nurses were looking at me as if I had the plague. I understand not wanting to train anyone, well I am lying, if you do not want to work short you should not have a problem with training a new employee. But anyway, at least speak, show some courtesy, and do not try to scare the new chick off.
They sat there cussing up a storm, complaining about other staff and Administration. All this is nothing new, but the cussing part usually comes after they have spoken to the new person, that being me. As the morning gets rolling, my preceptor turns to tell me she “don’t know why they put me with her ‘cuz she ain’t been their long”. I tried to encourage her by saying well I have a great background in elderly care in this setting, and maybe they feel as if you do a wonderful job at this. Nope, didn’t help, she kept right on with the drama. But after she saw me asking her questions and interacting with patients without waiting on her presence she calmed down a little bit. Another reason I said no more nursing home jobs for me was because I hate to hear people talk about ‘burn out’.
Now usually I don’t believe in burn out because you have so many options in the Nursing arena. But these nurses were either truly burned out or just awful nurses. I choose to go with the first rather than the latter. Now you know we can’t get out of nursing school without passing Pharmacology class, and you know the foundation of your medication pass, and meds. Please someone help me to understand why I am seeing patients receive antibiotics without having their temperature taken, Cardiac meds without the correct pulse check being done, but they were sure to take the blood pressures if those types of meds were present. Of course me being who I am, I just would say ‘hey let me take that pulse or temp for you real quick’, as a kind of reminder vs. me rolling my eyes and thinking of them as ‘sorry’.
After a few early mornings of this crazy routine, and I was given the cart to work alone basically the second day. I started having that feeling of not wanting to get up in the morning, thinking of how I didn’t want to go in this place the night before work. All bad signs, right? So I just decided to let them know I needed to be PRN (as needed) or I just couldn’t return. I would have eventually been of no help to that facility because I would’ve quit before I really got started. The negative feedback, the lack of teamwork from some, and just the mundane routine of “popping” pills to patients, just turned me off. I guess after you have seen so much in this type of setting with no improvement it makes the desire to return almost non-existent.
My favorite type of nursing is Emergency Medicine and until I get in the ER I love working the telemetry and Med-Surg floors as a contract nurse. I also love working with the elderly population, especially your high functioning Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients. I just do not like some of the encounters I have had with Nursing home facility employees. With that being said it pretty much keeps me in remembrance of what it is I need to do. I cannot wait for the day I walk across the stage again to obtain my next degree in Nursing.