“I feel destined to work in long-term care because it’s a balance between leadership and nursing; less physical work, but more of a collaborative role. I am the “go to” person for many of our staff to seek for information or guidance. I collaborate with my team, working as a “bridge” between interdisciplinary teams. I directly care for acutely ill residents by starting IVs and doing nursing interventions. I also support my direct patient care team by adding a rationale-based safety net to their suggestions on intervention.
I see long-term care as a specialty area that is forever in demand and that will continue to grow. All humans age, and many reach a stage where they require some form of medical assistance or supervision. As long-term care registered nurses, we combine the reports from our health care staff, family members and our residents, with our own assessment findings to analyze what is happening to our residents. We are privileged to work at a long-term care facility where we take part in their everyday life, which allows us to monitor their baseline routine closely.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it was very difficult for our residents. Long-term care is our residents’ long-term home. The initial no-visitor policy was heart-breaking for our residents who longed for their families to visit. Our residents really missed their families and the long-term care home needed to find a way to connect our residents to their families in a safe environment. Our amazing recreation staff soon initiated window visits, where the families were able to see the residents over a closed window connected via a phone call. They also facilitated video call appointments to bring the families together virtually.
Staff also accepted and adapted to multiple new technologies. New contactless infrared thermometers were purchased to monitor our residents routinely. The care conferences are now held as tele-conferences, and consultation with specialists were held virtually. There are more technologies to come, and to be honest, I can’t wait to get more.
As a registered nurse in long-term care, it would be wonderful to collaborate with new team members around innovative ideas, resources, experiences or just compassion for the holistic health of our residents.”