Monday, April 13, 2009

A day at work

Most of you have read posts in which I mention my job. I am a nurse at a long term care facility. We do have crazy days at times and there are frustrations in dealing with state inspectors and corporate workers, but for the most part, I really love what I do.
Recently Bonnie did a post where she took us through her day. I thought I would do a small version of that, so when I talk about my job, you can get an idea of what it looks like.

I get up at 5 am on my work days, spend some time on the treadmill, hop in the shower, have some devotion time, eat breakfast and drive to work. I'm lucky to live close to work and only have a 10 minute drive in. This was the beautiful sunrise I was greeted with, shortly after arriving this morning.

When we are full we have 60 patients. We have 2 nurses on and 6 aides. We also have a bath aide and 2 rehab aides. The nurse aides start earlier than we do and are already working. We nurses start our day by doing a narcotic count. This ensures that anything that has been given is correctly signed out. It also guards against any nurses taking the medication themselves. We have been blessed by not having that kind of problem, but it does go on, so these measures need to be taken. We then listen to a taped report that tells us how all of our residents have done during the evening and night, and brings up any concerns we need to talk to our Dr about.


After report we start our morning med pass. This is the biggest job of the day. The majority of medications are given at this time. There are also blood sugars to be checked and insulin to be given. We go down the hall with our med carts and give the meds to people as they get up. Most of the medication is ordered for 8:30 am. We have a window of 1 hour before and 1 hour after in which to give these meds. On the top of the med cart you can see the book we use which has all the residents med orders in. To the right of it is something with a blue handle. It is used to crush medications for people who are unable to swallow pills. We use applesauce to give the crushed pills in.

After med pass, we help pass out the breakfast trays.


This is my friend and co-worker Nancy, at our nurses station. There are 2 computers here, where we do all of our charting. We can usually be found here, doing paper work after breakfast trays are passed. We have a book that has all of our treatments in it, that needs to be signed for each resident. These are things like wound care, oxygen, measuring ankles (for people with congestive heart failure) and other things like that.

After breakfast, we try to do treatments that are needed that day and check in on our residents again. It's usually about 11:30 by this time, which is when we take our 30 minute break. I didn't think to take a picture of our break room, but you're not missing anything exciting!

After lunch, it's time for another med pass and a few blood sugar checks. There are not nearly as many as the earlier one and it only takes 30 to 40 minutes. We then are back at the computers, trying to chart. Charting isn't an exciting thing to do but it's important!

During this time we also get a call from our doctor. He calls every day to see if there are any problems or issues he needs to deal with. Any orders he gives, need to be entered into the computer. We also use this time to finish our other miscellaneous tasks and do another check on our residents.

This is the view we have from our nurses station. In the afternoon, the residents like to gather here and it can be quite a busy place!

The next shift arrives a few minutes before 3 pm and before we leave, we do another narcotic count and pass on any information they will need. If it's been a good day we are able to leave a few minutes after 3. It's usually about 3:15 but can be quite a bit later depending on what's happening.

I'm usually home by 3:30, in time to do something about supper and often start a load of laundry. Then I log onto my computer and check in with all of you!

I hope this wasn't too long or boring, and gave you a little glimpse into my day!

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septembermom said...

Mari, thank you for sharing your day with us. I so admire what you do for your patients everyday. Nursing is such an honorable, generous, caring profession. You make a difference in your patients' lives. God bless you and your coworkers for doing such a wonderful job:)

LeslieW. said...

Wow! That is such a busy day! I am so impressed that you squeeze all of the essentials in! Way to go!

Mike Golch said...

great post,thanks for sharing you day with us.

Groomer Angie said...

Not boring at all, bless you for what you do. Nursing is not an easy job and I admire anyone that can do it with compassion.

Brenda said...

That was enjoyable taking a tour with you. Just another way of getting to know you better.
Thanks for sharing!

Lara said...

Mari, thank you so much for sharing your day with us.

Hootin Anni said...

Oh wow....I loved being with you on your day at work. How very interesting. I really enjoyed this. I bet your vocation is most worthy of going to work daily...never a boring moment. Which is good.

Zaankali said...

That was great. I love seeing what people do during the day.

Perri said...

It looks like you work at a very nice home from the picture of the gathering area.

I KNOW the families appreciate the good care you give.

Brooke said...

you have an amazing responsiblity! the families of the people you care for are blessed to have you. :)

Mary said...


The run down of your day brought back memories of when I worked in the nursing home. It's a busy job and the thing I liked about it was that we were busy all day. That makes the time go faster. Of course there's always something that comes up unexpectedly.

I'm glad you enjoy your job and I'm sure the residents enjoy having you to care for them. Enjoy your day.

Cheri said...

I love the new sitting area- it turned out great!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your day with us!! From the pictures it looks like it is a very nice place. It brought back memories when I use to work at the nursing home. I worked 3-11 shift and the 5pm med pass was our big one. It would take me almost 2 hours sometimes with all the medicine and blood sugars. It is all pretty laid back unlike the hospital!! I do miss working in a LTC facility sometimes.

Pat said...

I loved sharing your day with you. You are one busy lady! As I've said before, nursing is a calling, not a job. Your patients are so blessed to have you. In a couple of years when I'm ready, I may just come and let you take care of me!

Cherdecor said...

Having just been in the hospital, it all sounded very familiar. Nurses are special people and I know that you are one of the best.

Growin' With It said...

what a great idea. so you don't just blog? teehee. sounds awesome that your day is so busy and continual so you are not waiting for the hours to pass. and i bet you are one FABULOUS worker there!

Kim said...

I totally enjoyed hearing about a typical day where you work!

Just an aside: when I was in college I worked at a pharmacy, filling the med trays for area nursing homes.

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow!! The place sure has changed since I worked there, its BEAUTIFUL!!! Even Nancy looks great at that computer, you guy's didn't have them then. Nice post Mari:)

Melissa said...

That was fun to hear exactly what you do during the day...Usually I see you goofing around, so I start to wonder if you really do work there ;) (Just kidding!) Thanks for sharing!

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

Wow! Mari, thanks for sharing that! I cannot complain when I have to get up on the mornings & exercise. You have much to do and do it to helop others and with such grace. I am so glad you did this post.

I am going to try your works for me wed. product!

Rebekah said...

Thanks for sharing your day. And getting on the treadmill that early in the day deserves some extra praise!

Kayren said...

Thanks for sharing. You have a really nice view from your station, too. It's a pretty place.

Linda said...

From one nurse to another, I can totally relate to your day! I'm lucky in that I'm able to work 3-12hr shifts so am not forced to work the traditional 5 days a week. That's one thing about nursing...I love the flexibility it offers.

Lynn said...

Such a fun and informative post...especially since you do mention work fairly often. It sounds like your facility opperates in a similar fashion to most of the ones where i've worked.

The Stylish House said...

I enjoyed this post, thank goodness for nurses like you!