Before Thanksgiving, I wrote a post giving you a glimpse into the lives of Instructors. This week I am shifting gears to focus on Administrators.
Many roles fall under the “Administrator” umbrella. From quarterbacking the daily operations of a skilled nursing facility to managing budgets and reports, working with residents and their family members, and reacting to staff shortages, this job comes with a lot of responsibility. A couple of these are highlighted below.
I asked several Administrators what motivated them; most answered with “providing quality care for the residents in my facility.” Many Administrators come from nursing or clinical backgrounds and have been in long-term care for most of their careers. They truly care about making a difference in the lives of the residents and patients with whom they work. Making a difference requires daily participation in resident care plan reviews and adjustments, as well as having tough, emotional conversations with resident family members. Many Administrators estimated they spent close to half of their day working with residents, front-line caregivers, and family members.
Outside of direct resident care, Administrators spend time ensuring their front-line caregivers are providing the quality of care needed by their residents. Many new front-line caregivers, mostly CNAs, do not start their jobs prepared for the emotional aspects of a job in skilled nursing. They often look to their mentors and management for guidance when navigating the death of a resident or a tough interaction with a resident’s family member. Most of the Administrators I spoke with felt providing guidance to new employees was a given, but thought training and preparation for the job could be improved to help them hit the ground running and minimize the emotional impact that many new caregivers feel.
Every Administrator knows, all too well, the direct connection between resident care and staffing. Administrators must align staffing decisions with daily resident changes to ensure the best care outcomes. Many of today’s Administrators are starting to think about their future staffing needs, but don’t have the insight or data they need to start making staff capacity decisions. While they may know their turnover numbers, they may not know how to combat them, what the most effective methods for retention and recruitment are, or how to compete against the facility 5 miles down the road. The thought of doing the same reactive staffing keeps them up at night; they know they need a different approach — one that allows them to control their own destiny, proactively combat shortages, and provide the best care.
A couple of weeks ago our team traveled to Music City (Nashville, TN) for a meeting with our National Advisory Board. While we were there, we wrote and recorded “Administrator Blues,” a fun, but honest look at the staffing hurdles facing Administrators today. Take a listen!