What's wrong with clinical at nursing homes?
I'm doing clinical with RN students at a nursing home. We are in week five. Every week the students complain about not wanting to do clinical at the nurisng home, they want to be at a hospital. For some reason this bugs me. I remember being younger and not wanting to work in nursing homes. Now it doesn't bother me. In fact I enjoy being here. Is it because I'm fifty now? Could be. However, I think there is more to it than that. Nursing homes aren't the same as they were 20 years ago. At least the one I'm at right now isn't. AND I KNOW that for a fact because I worked at this same home 20 years ago.
Let me tell you about 20+years ago!
It stunk. You walked in and the place reeked of urine, poop and cigarettes.
That's right cigarettes. Nurses smoked in report and the residents smoked in their rooms.
The residents were restrained. They were tied to their beds with arm restraints, leg restraints and vest restraints. During the day they were tied to the chair with a vest restraint.
Bed sores were the norm.
Catheters were the norm.
It was dreary and depressing as hell.
It smells good (for the most part).
It is cheerful.
There are no restraints.
People are sicker. There are a dozen residents on dialysis and with PICC lines. These are sick people, not much different than the med surg patients in a hospital
The residents are engaged, they are active, most are happy.
There are of course still the comatose residents, the ones with no quality of life but they aren't restrained and their pain is managed.
To all the students I say enjoy it! Learn what you can because there is lots to learn.