27 February 2023

how to be a geriatric nurse

Unfortunately this was the scene
Like 30 years ago. And today. 

Folks sitting in wheelchairs 
All around the Nurses Station
Or lining the hallways. 
Waiting for meals. Or Bingo. 

Nursing plods along 
And change is often slow. 
Big changes take a generation. 

We all get old. 
Why is this field so neglected? 
I promise you- most Nurses hate this -
And Nursing Homes are the
 Bane of our existence. 

Slight improvement from the 1950s 

People are living longer. 
With improvements to life. 

What have we created? 
Definitely room for improvement. 
Many Nurses will start their career here- 
At a LTC Long Term Care Facility. 
I know I did for sure. 
They pay more than Home Heath. 

So so so many meds. 
In order to be eligible to live 
In a “Nursing Home”
Now referred to as Nursing Care Centers 
Or ReHab.  Or Assisted Living…
To qualify, a person needs to 
have a medical need. Like a diagnosis,
Or multi medications. 
Some need. Nursing always 
addresses a need. Why are we there? 
What are we doing for the patient? 

Group Homes are also nice. 
Usually Private Pay, though. 

Sad fact is that most places are 
Sadly understaffed. 
And regulated to death. 

For example:
I worked in one such place 
That used the wrong fasteners 
For the hand rails- in the hallway. 
The State closed them down
like they had the plague. 
BUT the rails had already been up 
Literally for decades. 
Suddenly they focus on that
Instead of the bigger picture. 

In a standard Skilled Nursing Facility 
Aka Long Term Care Center, 
Each Nurse has a corridor 
Or part of a hallway to cover. 
A Nurse can have up to 30 patients 
In this warehouse of human souls. 
There little time for care. 
This is the Charge Nurse. 
S/he has several CNAs
(Certified Nurse Aide) working. 
They’ll take the vital signs,
Do the bathing, personal care,
[Nurses call this ADLs-
Activities of Daily Living]
And help with meals. 

The Nurse will pass meds,
Usually 2 times a shift. 
Give insulin, oversee care,
And wound care … etc.  

You can probably guess- I’m a fan of 
Reforming the whole system. 
It’s sadly broken. 

Now it’s our turn to take care 
Of our parents. 
They call it a Sandwich. 
You’re smack dab on between
Raising your own kids - and 
“Raising” your parents…
That is, tending to their needs. 

I can’t imagine this life for me. 
Or anyone I love.
But it’s great if you have no other options. 
Some residents have rich fulfilling 
Friendships and receive good care. 

Some fancy LTCs require $100,000
Non Refundable Deposit- 
Just to be on the list. 
$1000 a week is starting cost. 
On the low end. 
Anything for Dad, eh? 
Especially if it’s his money! 

Private pay Nursing will charge 
$1000 a day for 24 hours care. 
That’s not what the nurse gets paid. 
By the way.  Drats. 

This is why we preach prevention. 
Being strong and healthy. 
I’m not rich. But I’m healthy. 
And that’s infinitely better! 

The expectation 
VS the Reality of aging. 

Into this mix of Adult Diapers, 
(It’s a no-no to say diaper. 
We say “Briefs;” Babies wear diapers.)
Chronic illness, loneliness and heartbreak 
God sends His Nurses. 
Most Nurses don’t last long in what
can be truly deplorable conditions. 

I’m ready for reform! 
A new kind of place for mom. 

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