The job of a skilled nursing administrator is the most difficult job in post-acute care right now.
On paper, a skilled nursing administrator is simply the leader of a facility that provides nursing and therapy services for older adults that can't care for themselves at home. The job, although it looks achievable on paper, can feel like walking to school, up hill, both ways, in the snow. Today's skilled nursing home administrator is being asked to lead their staff through the biggest payment shift in twenty years (PDPM), navigate complex regulations, operate under reduced reimbursements and razor-thin margins, and do all of this while caring for some of the frailest human beings in our society.
The job is often thankless.
The vast majority did not have a childhood dream of becoming a skilled nursing facility administrator. Instead, they felt called to the profession. They did not become an administrator because of the compensation, or the accolades, or even the admiration they receive from others. Their fulfillment comes from seeing older adults achieve their highest quality of life no matter what age or stage they are in life. The best of them care for their patients as if they were their own grandmother or grandfather. In our world today, they are similar to teachers, nurses, military personnel, etc. Jobs that play a critical role in the structure of our society, and require great competence and skill, but are often times not compensated or valued in our culture that is commensurate with their importance.
This week is National Long-Term Care Administrators Week.
I know everyone has there own week nowadays, but these folks deserve one! If you know a skilled nursing administrator, be sure to thank them this week. My guess is that you or your loved one might need their services one day.