The Gypsy Nurse could not be successful without the support and contributions of it’s readers. Today’s Specialty Spotlight is from reader and Specialty Nurse Cheryl Hurt, LPN who works as a Long Term Care Skilled Nurse.
Name: Cheryl Hurt, LPN
Job Title: Long Term Care Skilled
List your education/certifications:
Where do you work:
Skilled Nursing and Rehab Facility
How long have you worked this Specialty?
Expert Greater than 5 years
How/Why did you get involved? Was there someone/something that inspired you to choose this specialty?
I work with Geriatric patients, I love the older Generation (they can teach me a thing or 2) I was a Certified Nursing assisant prior to becoming a nurse and I love the hands on Care that I am able to provide to those who are too weak or unable to provide for themselves.
What do you do in a typical day?
Report, count Narcotics with offgoing nurse, assign aides their responsibilities, Med Pass, order medications, Chart, Chart and Chart. Did i say chart? assist residents with meals, assist Residents with ADL’s when needed, Keep them Safe!
What frustrates you about your job?
lack of staff and lack of admin involvement
What about your job makes you proud to be a nurse? Is there a specific situation that stands out to you as a gratifying moment?
When a elderly patient looks you in the eye and says Thank you for helping me. When the Resident is in the comfort the grieving families, and to help them deal with the emotional strain they face, I treat them as if they were my Grandparents.
Do you feel you receive adequate support for your responsibilities?
On a general day Yes, but there is the occasional day that i do not
[quote author=" - Cheryl Hurt, LPN"] “Treat them like your Grandparents and it will be great” “The Elderly are the beauty of my soul and the wisdom they give me.”[/quote]
What (if anything) do you get called about on your off-hours?
I am not on call But they do call for extra help alot.
What is something a nurse who does not work in your particular field might find surprising about your job?
You can get attached very easily to your residents, Sometimes its not the Resident that is difficult, It is their families. Sadly there is a large numbers of Geriatric Residents that do not have families that are active in their life so we are their family and their support.
Does your position involve teamwork, or is it more of an individual job?
There has to be teamwork to work in Long Term care from the aides, nurses, therapy, pharmacy, to the Doctors and family.
Did you position require any extra training besides on-the-job training that you were required to complete?
Dementia training, CPR, first aid, wound care, tracheostomy education, IV certifications and peritoneal dialysis (at some contracts) Continuing education is ongoing.
One of the biggest complaints given by hospital unit-based nurses is that they rarely have time to eat or go to the bathroom. Do you find that to be the case with your job as well?
We are required to take a 30 minute lunch but there are some days that is it impossible to leave the unit being the only nurse and alot going on.
What is your definition of “poop hitting the fan?”
When the workload is heavy to start the shift, and then have CNA’S call in last minute leaving you extremely short and then a Crisis happens then another crisis happens…. and it snowballs from there, You can only wish it was time for the next shift so they can take over the unit so you can finish your work.
Are there travel opportunities in your specialty?
As an LPN it can be tough getting any travel assignment but generally I can get LTC work.
Is there any specific advice you would give a nurse pursuing your specialty?
The advice I would give is that Long Term Care can be very Gratifying but challenging, LTC facilities can get a bad reputation in a hurry and a long time to recover.