Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy Long Term Care Administrators’ Week!

 The week of March 12-16 has been designated by the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) to celebrate the contributions of Long Term Care Administrators nationally, and to recognize the importance of such a noble profession.

The first known example of a long-term care administrator is referenced in the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan. The injured man was left with an innkeeper who agreed to tend to his needs for a length of time. Today, the administrator’s role and responsibilities have grown tremendously. In an age of increasing elder demographics, a baby boomer generation with a strong consumer orientation, mobile extended family, increasing expectations regarding quality, increasingly complex medical conditions and treatments, growing rate of lawsuits, stringent regulations, uncertainty around various health care reform initiatives, a need to provide “quality of life” as well as “quality of care” amidst a more diverse cultural population, and the need to exercise financial stewardship when revenues decrease and expenses increase, the administrator must strike a balance that is increasingly challenging to find. Nursing facilities are responsible for the entire care of their residents 24/7/365, sometimes for years, with a margin for error of essentially zero. All of this care ultimately rests on the shoulders of the administrator.

Today’s administrators serve out of an enormous sense of dedication and compassion. Despite the challenges they face, they diligently and enthusiastically aspire to meet the needs and desires of each resident to the best of their ability. Most administrators will deflect any praise to their front-line staff, as is deserved. For this week, let’s tip our hats to the devoted professionals who have chosen the career of long-term care administration. To my colleagues in this field, I salute you!

Phil DuBois

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