By Christen Bean, Bedford Care Centers
Nursing is a beautiful, although challenging, profession. It’s a journey. Most would say it is a calling. Being a successful nurse requires a devotion to self-denial and sacrifice. It is a special calling of humility to put the needs of others first.
At Bedford Care Centers, we do our best to employ and train the best of the best nurses in our area. Long-term care nursing has its own specific set of daily challenges and rewards. This month, we want to take an inside look at a day in the life of our nurses to help us better understand the daily life of the nurses and residents in our long term care facilities.
I’ve interviewed two nurses: Ashton Green, LNP Bedford Alzheimers Care Center, and Tiffany Jefferson, LPN Bedford Care Center of Hattiesburg. Their experiences give us a deeper look into the life of the ones who take care of our residents every day.
A day in the life of a long-term care nurse:
7:00am: Get to work. Receive reports from night nurse and begin making rounds to check on residents. Begin passing out morning medications.
7:30am–8:00am: Breakfast time. Nurses and CNAs assist residents with dining if needed. It’s a team effort!
9:00am: Scheduled activities, including a morning devotion and exercises that are offered for residents.
10:00am–11:00am: Residents have “free time.” This gives the nurses time to check on patients who may need extra attention. It also gives time to pamper them a bit. For example, Ashton stated that she may give a resident a foot or hand massage if their skin is dry.
11:00 am–12:00pm: Lunch! Again, assisting residents as needed. All hands on deck!
1:00pm–2:00pm: Afternoon med pass. For each med pass, nurses learn the preference of each resident. They learn if residents prefer to take their meds with water, juice, pudding, or applesauce. If they prefer or require their meds crushed, whole, or if they need liquid medication. They do everything possible to cater to each patient.
2:00pm: Shift change. Helping residents with various actives such as Bingo or other fun games. Sometimes we have special entertainment, or on nice days we take the residents outside to sit in our courtyard. Sometimes they just need a companion. Getting to spend so much time with them is vital in noticing any changes with their behavior or heath. Being able to catch things quickly is the best way to keep our residents as healthy as possible. Nurses also make sure charting is complete and prepare reports for the next shift.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a nurse and what is the most challenging?
“The most rewarding thing is the relationship I get to have with my patients. I get to see them every day and they become like family, almost like my own grandparents. The most challenging thing is to see a patient decline. Even though we know it is inevitable, it’s still hard because we become so attached.” — Ashton Green
“The most rewarding thing is the people! Getting to know my patients and their different personalities is something I enjoy. I also like knowing that people really appreciate what you do. The most challenging thing is knowing that I can’t make everyone happy on my hall every day. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, someone may just be having a bad day, but they may take it out on you. You always have to stay positive. You have to be tough but you have to be energetic and have a good attitude because your patients will feed off your energy.” — Tiffany Jefferson
What is the one thing you wish people knew about nursing?
“I wish people knew that we do much more than they think we do. We are the eyes and ears of the doctors and because we spend so much time with our residents, the small things we notice can make a big difference in their care.” — Ashton Green
What advice would you give someone considering a career in long-term care nursing?
“It requires a great deal of compassion. You have to put yourself in their shoes and realize that you are in their home. It’s not about the paycheck. You have to do it because you really care.”
— Tiffany Jefferson
Ashton Green, LPN at Bedford Alzheimer’s Care Center, has been a nurse for just over three years. She loves geriatric nursing and has spent her entire career at Bedford Care (minus a few months when she tried another nursing field, but she came back home). Ashton is passionate about caring for seniors and providing them with the care, love, and respect they deserve.
Tiffany Jefferson, LPN has been a nurse for 22 years and has been a nurse at Bedford Care Center of Hattiesburg in a part-time and full-time capacity for over 10 years. She loves getting to know her residents on a personal level and being able to cater to each of their needs specifically. She also enjoys training new nurses.
If you would like to explore a career in long-term care nursing, visit our website at bedfordcarecenters.com.
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