My Education: BS in Health Care Administration Stonehill College MBA with concentration in Health Care Administration Boston University
My Prior Experience: I worked in the admissions office at Mass General Hospital my first year out of college. I then went to work in the corporate admissions/marketing dept. of a chain of brain injury rehab centers and then became a licensed nursing home administrator.
My Company: I work for a skilled nursing facility which provides short term, subacute rehabilitative care and long term nursing home care.
Job/Career Overview: I am responsible for the overall management and operations of a 135 bed health care facility.
I ensure the facility is in compliance with both state and federal regulations, ensure that the facility is adequately staffed and that the staff have the appropriate supplies and tools to do their job.
I represent the facility to the external community by attending chamber of commerce, Rotary, and other organization meetings in the community. There are many regulatory reports that I am responsible for compiling on a regular basis.
I am the chairman of many committees and am responsible for continuous quality improvement programming.
I interview and hire the members of the management team and help them problem solve. I meet with family members and patients when they have concerns about the care they or their loved one is receiving.
I meet with and tour prospective family members and educate them on the services the facility provides. I conduct presentations to community organizations about the services the facility provides. I am responsible for establishing budgets for all departments and monitoring the financial performance of the facility and individual departments. I establish operational goals and perform a lot of job coaching and counseling.
I rate this career 8 out of 10.
The most challenging part of my job is adhering to the many, many state and federal regulations. The nursing home industry is a very highly regulated industry and many of the regulations have not kept up with the advance practices and care that are provided in nursing facilities today. The regulatory survey process which we are subjected to is difficult and often punitive, not recognizing the many positive things that are going on in facilities today. Generally, the public has a negative opinion about nursing home care and we as an industry need to constantly educate people about the care we provide.
The best part of the job is working with the elderly residents of our facility. They are fascinating...living history and producing a smile, getting a kiss or a thank you from a resident can make my day. Producing positive outcomes for patients who come to us in crisis is very uplifting.
I would suggest that you get exposed to life within a nursing facility. Do some volunteer work or apply for entry level position as a dietary aid or nursing assistant.
Most (I believe) all states require that nursing home administrators be licensed by the state licensing agency. I would encourage anyone interested in this field to pursue a nursing home administrators license as soon as they can. It is difficult to study for the licensing exam or meet the requirements for licensure when you are working another full time job.
Pursue a degree in health care administration which will expose you to many areas of health care management including long term care.