It’s been 395 years since John Donne immortalized this phrase, and its timeless insight and implications can serve us well to today.
You are not alone. You are a member of a large community of long-term care providers. The struggles and failures of any nursing home diminishes the industry as a whole. In the face of increased regulations and scrutiny along with tectonic shifts in reimbursement, it is vital now more than ever for the leaders in this industry to work together to overcome challenges and take this industry to new heights.
There is no one better suited to understand, empathize, discuss, and help solve issues than someone who has been and is in your shoes. Every Administrator and operator has faced similar challenges. From staffing shortages, to personnel matters, to census struggles, to handling incidents and allegations, to resolving resident and family concerns, to managing surveys, to dealing with natural disasters and emergencies, to budget compliance, and everything in between. Your colleagues and peers have been through it all.
That’s without mentioning the mental wear on you as an Administrator. The constant stress and the continuous emotional ups-and-downs that come with operating a nursing home can take a very real toll on leaders and make them feel isolated and defeated. According to a recent survey conducted by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, 83% of Administrators found their work “very meaningful,” yet almost a third of Administrators had “seriously considered quitting their job during the previous three months.” I believe those numbers are indicative of how challenging the environment is and may reflect a “grass is always greener” outlook.
There are also outside pressures to contend with. It seems like a weekly occurrence that a news story breaks casting particular nursing home providers and the industry as a whole in a poor light. The shortcomings of a few are used to generalize all nursing homes. They make for great political talking points and become catalysts for even more burdensome administrative actions against all providers, on top of all the current regulatory pressures. We know this myopic view of our industry does not account for the countless challenges providers successfully overcome on a daily basis to provide high quality care.
But the challenges we face and the emotional tolls we bear are not unique to any particular one Administrator. Why, then, do most Administrators operate in silos? There is an infinite amount of knowledge, experience, and wisdom among our community. Why aren’t we reaching out, connecting, and supporting each other in our collective mission to provide the highest quality of care and service to our nation’s most vulnerable populations?
There are too many internal and external pressures on you to go at it alone. There are thousands of people in your shoes striving to achieve the same goals. There are numerous industry experts that have the detailed knowledge and insight to help guide you. Seek advice from experts. Connect with and develop relationships with your peers. Share your trials and triumphs. Discuss the latest news and developments. Seek and offer support. Through collaboration and support and accessing the collective insight and experience of the long-term care community, you can better manage and overcome the stresses and challenges you must face in your own operations, and the industry as a whole will improve along with you.
That is why we have created this online network. Welcome to the KEA Care Community!