Happy long-term care nurse and elderly woman sitting in wheelchair enjoying the outdoors.

A long-term care nurse provides critical daily support to people who are not able to care for themselves. They play a key role in society, and yet they are often in need of encouragement themselves. We owe it to them to learn more about those needs.

Here at the Apollo Bath company, we have a strong reputation for compassion, care, and excellence. We invite you to read about our organization and how our bathing systems are making the lives of long-term caregivers easier. 

And, in the meantime, let’s discuss the many ways we can not only engage with but also protect these invaluable members of the medical community.

What Is a Long-Term Care Nurse?

A long-term care nurse holding the hand of her elderly patient.

A long-term nurse or carer is tasked with meeting a person’s health and personal needs during an extended period. Where long-term care may be provided in the home, it is often given in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes or adult centers.

These facilities enable people to live safely when they are no longer able to look after themselves. A long-term care situation may involve the nurse in giving care for an extended period. Alternatively, it may be only for a short-term period during a time of recovery.

Who Needs Them?

Several situations require long-term carers. These include:

  • Old age, with its higher risk
  • Women often due to them living longer
  • Single people who are more at risk than those with a live-in partner
  • An inadequate diet that increases the risk of frailty
  • Lack of exercise leading to physical weakness
  • General health problems following illness or surgery

Problems the Nurse May Face

Nurses within the health care community face many unique challenges. These are particularly evident in long-term care situations.

  • Staff shortage as a result of a high turnover of carers
  • Excessive work pressure with insufficient time to properly care for their patients
  • Conflicts with supervisors who fail to appreciate their staff or show respect 
  • Inadequate training causes feelings of inferiority and overwhelms
  • Low wages despite the high daily demands the nurses face
  • Injury caused by heavy lifting and lack of assistance
  • Lack of respect from members of the public or even higher qualified staff 

Long-term care nurses face problems unique to the physical frailty of many of their patients. Executives in assisted living facilities need to keep abreast of equipment to enable their staff to assist patients with their daily health care.

One such area is the innovative bathing systems available through the Apollo Bath company.

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Stress in the Work Place

A stressed long-term care nurse sitting in a hospital hallway

As a result of the problems listed above, a severe amount of stress occurs among nursing staff in a long-care facility. Job demands, lack of accomplishment, insufficient resources, and sheer exhaustion all contribute to rising stress levels.

There is an increased need for those in leadership roles to address these issues. Interventions are urgently needed to reduce stress and improve social support for the nursing staff.

Signs and Symptoms

There are many indications that a nurse or carer is heading for stress-related issues. Senior staff members need to watch for these.

  • Feelings of debilitating tiredness and exhaustion 
  • Less empathy toward patients and their problems
  • Irritability toward patients and other staff members
  • Low job satisfaction with complaints of lack of support
  • Resentment toward their fellow nurses or patients
  • Constant headaches and lack of sleep even when off duty
  • Emotional disconnection and a lack of empathy
  • A crippling sense of anxiety as against a normal sense of concern
  • Unexplained sickness with low immunity or heart palpitations

Pandemic Fatigue

The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to extra stress and pressure on all front-line workers. Long-term care nurses are no exception.

In addition to everyday stressful situations, long-term carers may experience significant stress disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Nurses have to deal with the constant risk of infection from the patient, other nurses, or the risk of inadvertently passing the virus on.

Patients may be hospitalized from COVID. They may need ventilation or even pass away.

The long-term nurse may have formed a close bond with the person. They now have to deal with a sense of grief as well as move on to another patient.

Burnout and Psychological Health

Job-related stress or pandemic fatigue can lead to burnout. This is characterized by a prolonged response to chronic stress.

It typically shows in the form of:

  • Total emotional exhaustion beyond normal tiredness
  • Cynicism and a sense of detachment from their work
  • Feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of achievement

Burnout of long-term nurses represents a danger not only to the nurses themselves but to the patients. It also has the potential of a high cost to employers. 

Caring for the Long-Term Care Nurse

Long-term care nurses and their leadership having a meeting in a conference room.

We’ve seen the problems. Now let’s take a look at ways we can improve the situation and protect the nursing staff.

Job Satisfaction

Nurses, by nature, are empathetic people. That is why they entered this career.

They want to make a difference in people’s lives. Carers love to establish relationships with their patients. They are proud of being nurses. 

They want to feel good at what they are doing. They enjoy having good relationships with their coworkers and working as a team.

Bearing these in mind, here are some suggestions to help establish a healthier and less-stressed staff.

Good Relations Between Employers and Employees

From the moment employees are taken on board, there should be an emphasis on establishing good relations. Staff should feel free to speak to their employees concerning needs or possible areas of improvement. 

Open communication and genuine engagement are essential. Communication shouldn’t be limited to handing out orders.

Better qualified nurses should have the opportunity to teach and guide the less qualified. In turn, this will open the possibility of advancement for more junior staff.

Health and wellness programs are excellent team-builders. They also help the nurses to feel as if they are of value to the company. 

Involved Leadership

Sometimes, those in leadership sit behind desks in their offices, and they have no idea what is going on with their nursing staff or patients. Are the patients being loved and adequately cared for? 

Are their physical and emotional needs being met? And if not, why not? Are the nurses unable to care for their patients due to a lack of equipment or facilities?

One major area of concern is that of cleanliness. Patients need to feel clean, and the long-term nurse needs to enjoy a healthy working atmosphere. The centers should have a fresh, clean-smelling atmosphere. 

Apollo Bath offers an extensive range of products that will assist the staff in caring for their charges’ daily lives. Our infection control technology helps to reduce infection among the elderly. 

Keep Your Staff Protected Today

A long-term care nurse assisting a patient with help using his walker.

We hope you have found this article informative and encouraging. We trust we’ve shown you how the long-term care nurse is integral in the healthy management of society today.

We at Apollo Bath have a high standard of professionalism and would love to hear from you. Please send us your questions, and we will get back to you promptly.

Apollo has been the industry leader and champion of innovation in bathing systems, infection control and skincare for over 40 years, serving the needs of Long Term Care and Senior Care professionals while delighting their residents.

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