nursing home anxiety!

  1. well, i have completed my required 2 days of ltc training and it honestly wasn't as bad as i expected. i think that my real fear was coming from the fact that i am not all the comfortable with some procedures yet and i thought they were going to "throw us in the deep end" so to speak. it wasn't like that at all. we were paired with an experienced cna and weren't allowed to touch a resident unless the cna or our instructor was there. i can definitely say that my fear of the patient has dramatically lessened (not gone totally yet!) there were a couple of residents that became really fond of, especially this little woman who had n-stage alzheimer's. she couldn't talk but loved for people to come in her room. all you had to do was smile at her and she would just grin and grin. didn't have to talk, just being there made her day. my favorite part of the 2 days was getting to give manicures to some of the residents (male and female alike!) you could tell that they weren't used to that 1 on 1 attention and that really is a shame! by the end of the 2 days, my classmates and i were trying to pick out which resident we would most likely resemble in 70 years or so... so my 2 days in ltc weren't bad, i didn't faint or freak out and learned a great deal, but i know that ltc nursing is not for me. blessings to all of you cnas, lpns, rns, pts, rts, etc who can handle it!

    okay ladies and gentlemen, i am one week into my cna class and things seem to be going well. i have reduced my hours at my other job because it was killing me to be in class all day and work a 6hour shift at night too. now to the real subject of this thread. the state of kentucky requires that all cna trainees spend at least 16 hours in a ltc setting to complete their training. the hospital has made all the arrangements for this but... okay, to start with, i have never even been in a ltc facility. i honestly have never been around old people in my life ever (my grandparents were all passed away before i was born) every time i think about this part of the class with having to go the the nursing home, i get a really tight feeling in my chest, almost like the beginnings of a panic attack (or what i imagine that must feel like, never really had one before) i am terrified about these 2 days of my class! i have spoken with my instructor about this and she basically said that i need to suck it up and do it, if i'm going to be a nurse i will have to work with older patients at some point. in my brain i know this is true, but still... another thing that i think is making this kind of difficult to me is that my mom has ms and it has started to progress more rapidly as she gets older (she's 55) and in the back of my mind i know that one day she might have to go to a ltc facility and it breaks my heart. this is the major reason i don't want to work ltc as an rn. has anyone else ever experienced what i am feeling? if so, how did you deal with it? do you just get used to working with older people? deep down i know that they are still people and nothing to be scared of, i guess it just takes wokring with them for some time???
    Last edit by angelac1978 on Jun 27, '02
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   amblessing
    LTC facilities are very difficult for me as well. I think it's because I remember going to one as a very young child to visit my grandma. It always "smelled funny" to me and my grandma ended up passing away there. I look at it this way: I could choose to get all worked up over it and make it a miserable experience for myself or I could choose to "suck it up" as your instructor put it and try to make my time there mean something to these people. Many of these people don't want to be there any more than you do, but you have the opportunity to make a difference in their life while you are caring for them:kiss Your kindness, attitude, and caring will say a lot to your instructors and your patients. Good Luck, and I know you can do it!
  4. by   mc40421
    I've worked with all different age groups and I can honestly say that I enjoyed the older ones best. They seem grateful for most anything you can do for them and when I was a student they would go out of their way to make me feel confident and put me at ease. There are always exceptions but I would choose that age group above all others. I also remember visiting my grandmother in a LTC facility and the different smells there, but I also remember how the residents were so eager for a little attention and were so appreciative of even a little smile. So when you go there for your clinical hours just keep in mind how scared they are and how you may be able to brighten up their day in some way and it may help. Remember also that it's only for 16 hours.
  5. by   shygirl
    I work in a LTC facility. I love geriatrics. You will meet some of the sweetest, funniest, wisest, most demanding, sincere, loveable people in the world. It is like having a bunch of grandparents all at once. they have the most interesting stories from "the old days" You'll love it I guarantee it. Gilda
  6. by   nursegoodguy
    Don't Panic!
    I have worked LTC for the past 11 years. We have students come in our facility too!
    They usually get there about 8 so everyone is already up.
    Mostly what the instructor has them doing is bathing residents... The instructor never has them doing a patient alone but with a group or in pairs...
    They also practice doing vitals, feeding residents & making beds.
    What will the patients be like you are wondering...
    In a nutshell, you get the patients up, clean them, feed them, toilet them, feed them, change them and lay them down give report and go home! (that's just the basics)
    I have some patients that totally take care of themselves. They are continent, make their own beds, just need supervision in the shower, and have lots of love to spread around! I get hugged about 10 times a day, there's even one or two that like to pinch my... anyway lots of different patients! I really love most of them... Most are female too. Okay now that's on one hand but on the other hand...
    You will find some patients that are not alert... very confused, might be combative, probably incontinent, need total assistance with all adl's and need to be fed! I worked on a floor with all confused patients and you know even the ones who just babbled and were totally confused still recognized me when I'd come on duty, they understand basic things like, oh you are the one that hugs me, they need lots of affection.
    What will the staff be like...
    Your instructor will more than likely know the Residents and have certain ones in mind for your clinical rotation there. (That is actually a word of warning...) A good instructor will put you with a patient that might present you with a challenge... you'll have lots of challenging patients in your career!
    Just do the best that you can, stay busy and it will be over before you know it! You'll be fine!
  7. by   Aussienurse2
    Oh please, it's not that bad, just remember to laugh, smile and talk......... slowly.........and.......distinctly..........and.. .....not........too........loudly Walk in the park ( tongue firmly planted in cheek )
  8. by   Nurse Ratched
    Geriatrics is a wonderful specialty. There are few things more rewarding in this world that knowing you are providing care to someone who has likely cared for so many others. I like AussieNurse's tagline "take care of your Karma" - to me, caring for our elderly is the natural order of things.

    I presume you don't have a problem with the "yucky" parts of it or you wouldn't be studying to be a CNA. So do what you can to put a different spin on it in your head. You are caring for those who were once in your place.

    I'm sorry about your Mother's situation. It's unfortunately a perfect example of the types of personal/professional conflicts we all experience in nursing. It's also an opportunity for you to learn early on how to separate the two as much as humanly possible.
  9. by   angelac1978
  10. by   semstr
    Only 2 days? Wohhhh, that's not really much time to see and learn something is it?
    Makes me important is LTC in the public's eye and in the nursing eye.

    take care and enjoy working geriatrics, it is lovely work, Renee