The following article is attributed to USC Leonard Davis, School of Gerontology, Los Angeles, CA
A Day in the Life of a Nursing Home Administrator
A nursing home, similar in nature to other medical facilities, requires an expansive and dedicated staff to keep it running at full capacity. According to the Mississippi State Board of Nursing Home Administrators, there are intricacies in care, and a wide array of tasks that need to be completed each and every day to ensure the facility runs smoothly. At the helm, guiding the home through its day-to-day life, is the nursing home administrator.
The nursing home administrator manages and completes a range of tasks including building maintenance, clinical paperwork, and activity planning according to Provider Magazine. There is little that goes on inside the walls of nursing home that doesn’t require the help or the approval of a nursing home administrator. While there are a variety of rewarding responsibilities in this field, this post will walk through the average day in the life of a nursing home administrator.
Nursing home administrators know that there is no set plan for any given day. In fact, many agree that you have to prepare for the unexpected. Many will get to work early and begin to prepare for the day ahead of them. Administrators will review the 24-hour report during these early morning hours. These reports are a compilation of mini-reports that are prepared throughout the day to keep administrators apprised to any changes in status. They detail the happenings of residents, new intakes and those who have been discharged or taken out of the home for any reason.
Reports act as the first line of defense for administrators. It allows them to anticipate what might happen on any given day, and learn about what happened while they were away with their families and loved ones. After all, a nursing home is a 24-hour endeavor and care doesn’t cease when the administrator walks out the door.
The Day in a Nutshell
Once basic reports are read and email is caught up on, many nursing home administrators will leave their office and mingle with the facility, its residents and its staff. What might seem like a social call is actually an important part of keeping a nursing home running. Walking from ward to ward and floor to floor, administrators will stop to chat with staff members to gauge the atmosphere. They will stop to talk to residents and check in on activities, and many will make a special trip to physical therapy appointments to ensure residents are getting the help they require.
Once rounds are completed, many administrators will find their day booked with meetings, and more are sure to crop up throughout the day. They will find their way into care management plan meetings for specific residents, and overarching staff meetings to discuss the more general issues in the nursing home environment. Often, they will also find themselves in emergency meetings with family members and new residents.
The Wrap Up
For most administrators the day will stretch long past 5 pm, when others are leaving their offices to head home to their families. As the day begins to wind down, many will find their way back to their office, where paperwork, emails and evaluations await them. Some will stay past 7 pm and bring work home with them. Others will focus on the tasks that absolutely must be completed and leave the rest for the next morning.
A Rewarding Career
Administrators at a nursing home are often in a high-stakes decision-making role. Everything from patient care to food vendor decisions fall on their shoulders. While the responsibilities can be immense, most in the field agree that the payoff is just as large. They get to see people thrive in a new environment. They are part of a rich and vibrant community that is working to serve the elderly in the best way possible, and that is a reward in and of itself.
A graduate gerontology degree, paired with your licensed practical or vocational nursing experience, can prepare you to make an impact on the lives of older adults or nursing home residents. Learn more about the Master of Arts in Gerontology online program at USC.