Question Of The Week: Turmoil In Management

by Patti on April 9, 2012

in Question Of The Week

Question:
I have worked at the same nursing home for 3 years now. Initially the administrator and Nurse Director were a solid team of leaders. Then one day, they were gone! They got fired because of a poorly cited federal survey. That happened in the first three months of my employment. Since then, it’s been nothing but change, change and more change! An administrator is brought in and stays for 6 months and leaves. A nurse director gets hired and lasts maybe 3 to 4 months. More than one director has resigned within their first two weeks. It seems that whoever owns the facility can’t keep a management team in place. The turnover is incredible and there is not a good place to work. I am, the staff with the longest employment. There is no teamwork because people are not together long enough to form a team. Nurses, aides, kitchen workers all come and go through a revolving door that is never closed! SHOULD I STAY at this place?

Answer:
I’m amazed that you have stayed here for 3 years given all the turnover you describe. For that, you probably deserve an award.

I’ve seen situations where nurses and aides feel obligated to continue working for a poorly managed facility because of the residents. They do so in spite of their personal dislike of a facility management team or their low pay and/or poor benefits. While this is admirable, we should really make sure we’re doing the right thing for ourselves.
When it comes to decisions about employment, I always like to make a list of PROs and CONs: side by side. Write down what you like about your current employment.

  • Is the facility right in your local area so travel/transportation is not a problem?
  • Is the pay good, or so good you hate to give it up?
  • Are the benefits top notch? (I suspect not but could be wrong)
  • Since there is no management, how to you feel supported at this job?
  • Do you work with lots of agency, PRN nurses and aides?
  • Do you have any relationships with peers that are worth keeping a job over?

There is something that is keeping you here…you need to seriously look at what that is and decide if it a legitimate reason for you to stay. I get the sense that you want to leave but are not sure you should. I wonder if you’re feeling some guilt about the residents and how staffing patterns effect them.

My advice would be to draw up that list and think it over for a week. You have to know what else is out there for employment. Have you worked for other nursing homes? Do you have friends in other places who are content? Are you willing and able to travel to a facility further away if needed? How about working for an agency? What are the options for you, if you were to leave?

One last thing: Personally, I would find out the name of the person who owns the facility and write them a letter; expressing how the lack of management is effecting this nursing home, it’s residents, the quality of care, etc. YOU have nothing to lose but a lot to gain IF that person really cares.

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