Assisted Living Facility Healthcare Manager
An assisted living facility healthcare manager holds a position that is both challenging and rewarding. Because the facility can face a medical emergency at any time of day or night, the manager must be calm when under duress, and because the residents are older, the manager must have patience and be attuned to their concerns. On the other, those who live in an assisted living community hold a wealth of experiences and information, and can enrich the lives of those who oversee their care and well-being on a daily basis.
What They Do
The job of an assisted living facility healthcare manager is unpredictable and as manager of the nursing and assisting team in general you may have to work long hours, weekends and be on call for emergency situations. The manager is in charge of staff and the day-to-day operations of the community, and must coordinate services and functions so every resident receives the proper care, ensures their personal medications are taken at the correct dosage and times, and provide the best service possible to make patient home life happy and comfortable.
The facility healthcare manager usually works in an office environment but must also be available to go to a specific area of the facility if needed. They may also be in charge of security and transportation to and from hospitals and doctor’s appointments, and must handle daily reports and complaints to the satisfaction of their clients. Often they schedule cleaning crews and work with nutritionists to provide meals and adhere to dietary restrictive diets.
Because they manage a team, they need to be aware of all HR and state payroll and labor laws and changes, and may need to handle paperwork or be accountable to auditors or accountants who handle financial matters for the facility.
A Typical Day for Assisted Living Facility Managers
The typical day of an assisted living facility healthcare manager may be quite diverse, and can vary with the needs of the residents. The primary daily responsibilities will most likely be as follows:
- Creating budgets
- Scheduling hours
- Hiring staff
- Ensuring the daily care of residents is consistently meeting high quality standards
They may also be in charge of overseeing billing, communicating with medical staff and other department heads, organizing records, and overseeing the admissions process in regards to the healthcare that will be required by the new residents. Because the environment is active and can constantly change in response to the needs of the residents, there may not be a typically structured day.
Managers can count on meetings with residents, families, physicians, therapists, and staff members as well as local government officials and hospital administrators. The assisted living facility healthcare manager may be in charge of supervising the training of new employees, ordering medical equipment and assuring the diet requirements of each resident are being met by the food preparation staff.
Who they Manage
The assisted living facility healthcare manager is usually in charge of all staff that perform healthcare duties, and in an assisted living facility that can be extensive. Some residents will need assistance with daily life chores such as bathing and dressing, and these can be performed by a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or medical assistant.
Registered nurses are scheduled around the clock, and larger facilities have in-house physical therapists and rehabilitation therapists. Most facilities have trained professionals who supervise many types of physical fitness classes as well as trained nutritionists for those residents with specialized diets.
Pros and Cons of the Job
On a positive note, an assisted living facility healthcare manager is highly regarded in the medical community. They perform a vital service to the aging population and work in a friendly, positive atmosphere. They enjoy a high salary, and the position is highly stable due to the burgeoning baby boomer population’s aging. An experienced assisted living facility healthcare manager can literally choose any state to work in once they have experience in their career.
On the other hand, like many positions in the healthcare industry an assisted living facility healthcare manager faces an extremely stressful job. Their work week will rarely be 40 hours, and they may spend extended periods of time in their office trying to catch up on the piles of records and paperwork required to make such a facility run smoothly. They may also work evenings and nights, and could keep erratic schedules because they may be needed on weekends when it’s more common for family members to visit.
Education and Certification
An assisted living facility healthcare manager must hold at minimum a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration or a related subject. In addition, they must be certified by the state in which they seek employment. While the certification requirements vary from state to state one must pass a background check, meet the minimal education requirements and possibly pass an administrator-in-training program.
The Certified Assisted Living Administrator (CALA) professional certification is the standard national certification for assisted living facility healthcare managers. This certificate must be renewed every five years in order for the manager to remain in good standing with state requirements. Because there are educational requirements in order to become certified it is vital that you ensure your school of choice is accredited if you plan to become an assisted living facility healthcare manager.
The job outlook for an assisted living facility healthcare manager is excellent. Because of the trend of older Americans moving to these communities, the job growth through the next decade is projected to be a robust 20 percent, which is much higher than the national average for all employment groups.
Keep in mind that highly paid managers typically have earned more education, and have more years of experience on the job. In fact, those with a master’s degree or higher and several years of experience are most likely to be in the highest paid group. You should also consider the location of where you work as a factor, with those in large metropolitan areas earning more.
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