“Some residents like to tease us. They say: ‘You spend more time nursing that computer!’ But I tell them, if we don’t chart it, it’s like it didn’t happen. It’s health care, so of course we have a lot of paperwork. That’s normal, but preparing all that other paperwork for inspections seems like overkill.”
As one of the registered practical nurses on site at a home in Tillsonburg, Sasha is responsible for distributing medications three times a day. She also does wound care and other treatments, and collects information on residents’ vitals as well as pain and incontinence. But this type of reporting is just the start.
“The administrative burden is getting worse. We have one nurse who spends more than half of her time just on gathering information for the Ministry inspections. I often fall behind on my charting. On a good day I only spend 15 minutes finishing up my paperwork after my shift has ended, but when I’m busy, when residents need me, I help them first and then sometimes I spend an hour past my shift finishing it up.
The level of care each resident requires is much more than it used to be. One thing people don’t realize about long-term care is that it’s not like being a nurse in a hospital.
In a hospital, you’re responsible for a person’s care while they get better. In long-term care, you are responsible for every part of that person’s life, from helping them to get dressed to organizing their activities. I love working with the residents and I get frustrated that the endless paperwork gets in the way of that.”