The Long Term Care Registered Nurse prescribes, delegates and coordinates the skilled nursing care of patients receiving care in a long term care facility. The working environment for LTC RN can be private homes and health care facilities, convalescent homes, assisted living centers and hospices. RNs plan care for patients with long term needs and supervise the staff providing those needs. Registered Nurses develop patient care plans, implement treatments,monitor patients and provide guidance. Long Term Care RNs provide care in the patient’s home or work in a facility and can also supervise the work on LPNs, home care aides and nursing assistants. The RN monitors vital signs and symptoms of the patient, delivers medication, maintains accurate records and implements other treatments. Aides and assistants can feed, clothe, change linens, help patients with personal hygiene and monitor patients, under the supervision of the LTC RN. RNs may assume many of these duties in smaller facilities.
Some functions of Long Term Care Registered Nurses
Ensuring all work areas and residents’ rooms are maintained in accordance with safety and sanitation standards.
Ordering medications, equipment and supplies as prescribed.
Preparing and administering medications ordered by the physician in accordance with policies and procedures.
Attending rounds with physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants.
Assisting with the orientation of new staff to the unit.
Collaborating with the resident’s physician to provide the care, services, treatments and rehabilitation ordered.
Communication with the resident’s physician and/or family members when there is a change in resident’s condition or if any incident occurs involving patient.
Administering professional nursing practice services such as: tube feedings, suction, catheterization, changing of dressings, packs and irrigations as necessary.
Gathering samples of sputum, urine and other specimens for lab tests as ordered.
Continuous observation and monitoring of seriously ill residents.
Being the patient advocate and ensuring that other health care team members are providing care according to the resident’s care plan and personal wishes.
Receiving, transcribing and implementing physician’s orders according to facility procedures.
Accurately completing necessary charting as required and in a timely manner following established charting policies and procedures.
Qualifications of the LTC RN
Communications skills, read, write, speak and understand the English language.
Possesses the ability to make decisions independently when such action is warranted.
Ability to communicate on a personal level with residents, family members, personnel, visitors, government agencies and the general public.
Work well with others and show leadership and supervisory ability.
Knowledge of medical and nursing practices and procedures, and the regulations, laws and guidelines pertaining to long term care.
Maintain a cheerful, patient and enthusiastic disposition and handle difficult residents.
Display a willingness to research and learn about new methods and principles and ways to incorporate them into existing practices to benefit the resident.
Demonstrate Safe and Effective Use of Equipment such as:
Oxygen wall regulators/portable oxygen
Patient Call System
Computer, printer, copier, fax
Safety bed alarm system
Enteral feeding pump
Anti embolic stockings