Long-Term Care Nursing
Long-term care nurses work with seniors, people who require long-term medical treatment and physically disabled patients who are unable to perform everyday functions. Generally, seniors have to depend on their children to do their daily work.
What Is Long-Term Care Nursing?
Sometimes, they try to do the work on their own and they are exposed to the risk of slipping or falling. The elderly may also suffer from poor memory and sometimes, they forget things, names of people or places. In such conditions, they need somebody to take care of their physical needs and to accompany them to various places.
Long-term care nurses have to provide medical care, companionship, and pay attention to the requirements of their patients. They have to be somewhat versatile because a long-term care patient can be a young child who’s suffering from some form of physical impairment or a person suffering from some form of mental disorder or an elderly person who’s unable to do his/her everyday work. Long-term care nurses who have undergone the necessary nursing programs will be better prepared to provide care to patients who suffer from long term medical conditions such as chronic physical disorders, mental disorders, and so on.
What Are Some Job Opportunities and Job Descriptions For Long-Term Care Nursing?
The healthcare industry includes more than 2 million Registered Nurses of which more than 50 percent are employed in hospitals. The job of a nurse, regardless of specialization, is to work in the healthcare sector to provide treatment to the patients. It also involves providing advice and emotional support to the family members of the patient. After completing the course in long-term care nursing, you can join general medical or surgical hospitals, clinics, home health care centers or nursing care institutions.
As a long-term care nurse, you have to follow strict guidelines and regulations of the healthcare institution. Part of your work is to keep a record of the symptoms and medical history of the patient. In addition, you have to take care of the treatment procedures, provide medications, and perform the follow ups and rehabilitations as outlined by the physician.
Job opportunities in the field of nursing have risen in the past decade, and it’s forecasted that the demand will continue to rise in the coming decade. There’s a rising need to provide efficient healthcare to the elders in the US. The job of a nurse is highly satisfying and challenging. It’s a flexible job because you can work part time or full time. The job also offers a great deal of flexibility in geographical locations, work schedules, and settings. As a nurse, you are provided with educational benefits, child care, and bonuses regularly by the government or private organizations. You can even become a union member to enjoy other benefits.
What Are The Daily Routines and Work Environment For A Long-Term Care Nurse?
The job of a long-term care nursing aid includes bathing, feeding, cleaning, and treating the patient. Since long-term care nurses spend a lot of time with their patients, they also develop meaningful relationships where they listen to the patients and in turn, tell them some stories. Sometimes, the nurses have to motivate and encourage the patients in their times of despair. Hence, the job requires a great deal of patience and tolerance. Here’s an outline of the typical daily routine of a long-term care nurse.
- Bathing, feeding, and helping the patient use the restroom
- Helping patients to walk without wheelchair
- Transferring patients from bed to/from wheelchair/stretcher
- Measuring the pulse, temperature, and blood pressure of the patient
- Talking to the patient
- Administering medication or injections
The long-term nursing aids have to understand the patient’s need as well as the directions of the physicians. A positive attitude is required to do the job well.
What Are The Educational Requirements For A Long-Term Care Nurse?
The long-term care nurse aid training program is usually a 150-hour course which prepares the students to work for long hours in hospitals and health care sectors. The long-term nurse works in hospitals or clinics, and the program helps them to understand the various procedures of providing care such as feeding, bathing, restroom use or moving patients in bed.
To become a long-term care nurse, you will have to complete a course in nursing, for which, you can get nursing education in various ways. You can get a Bachelor’s degree in a nursing program or get an associate’s degree or diploma from a reputed and approved university. To become a long-term care nurse, you can follow these steps:
1) Enroll in as LPN program or RN program: To practice as a long-term care nurse, you will have to complete the nursing program, licensed practical nursing degree or become a registered nurse through a regular nursing program or you can join any of the online nursing programs affiliated to accredited nursing schools. After you have completed a regular LPN program, you will have to work under the supervision of a registered nurse and later, you can pursue the certification to become a long-term care nurse. There are even online LPN programs and online RN programs, which can help you save money and time.
2) Graduation: A graduate in nursing is eligible to take the exam for long-term care nursing. You can even do the Bachelor’s degree in nursing to pursue a nursing career. You will have to complete a four-year degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. After enrolling in an accredited university, you have to learn about human anatomy, biology, medical technology, first aid, and general medical care. After you graduate, you are eligible to take the exam for specialization.
3) Internship in Nursing: You can do internships to get into various nursing occupations. You can apply for programs offering internships in nursing or do specialized programs to learn the basics of the career.
There are also other different types of related nursing jobs which include advanced practices in nursing such as nurse clinical specialists, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists. For these specializations, you may have to pursue a Master’s degree in the specialized field.
What Is The Average Salary For A Long-Term Care Nurse?
The average salaries of long-term care nurse jobs vary in the range of approximately $46,000 to $72,000.
How Do I Get Started In Long-Term Care Nursing?
To become a long-term care nurse, you should get an undergraduate degree in nursing from a nursing school. You can even get the undergraduate degree from a reputable online nursing school. Once you have cleared all the examinations and obtained the certification from an accredited institution in nursing, you can take the long-term nursing aid exam. Once you pass the exam, you will be eligible to pursue your career in long-term care nursing.
For more information on long-term care nursing, check out these links.
- American Association for Long Term Care Nursing
- What is Long-Term Care?
- LTC Nursing Leadership
- Long Term Care Link
- National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in LTC
- LTC Nurse Aide Training
- Center for Excellence in LTC
- Resources for Care of Older People
- American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination
- Career Overview of Nurses