Article describes administrators’ true feelings

Finally, an article that truly describes how administrators feel. Our not-for-profit company has always been most respectful of our administrators’ input, but I have worked for others who were not. I have been employed in long-term care for many years and confess to feeling guilty that I am now looking forward to retirement, because I truly love the work. I even worry about who will fill this position when I do retire because so few are entering the field and the percentage of these who are qualified is frighteningly small. Thank you for your article.

Linda McWaters, BS, RN, NFADirector of OperationsThe Glen SystemShreveport, Louisiana

Analysis hits ‘nail on the head’

Your article in the October 2007 Nursing Homes magazine entitled “Disenchantment Among LTC Leaders,” hit the nail on the head. You described very accurately what NHAs and DONs are feeling and enduring. I suspect you will receive many more e-mails from NHAs/DONs who agree with your analysis in this article.

Jerry FreseAdministratorMarywoodWausau, Wisconsin

Industry needs shared goal of improved care

As a nursing home administrator, I read with interest your October article detailing the disenchantment felt by many administrators. Sadly, many administrators feel this way and I don't see things improving. Regulatory agencies ask for higher standards on one hand, but cut reimbursement on the other. Attorneys bring frivolous lawsuits while masquerading as “patient advocates.” Some owners want figurehead-type administrators instead of seeking caring, competent administrators and the survey process becomes confrontational instead of collaborative. It seems that all the players in the industry are protecting their turf rather than having the shared goal of better resident care and services. Hopefully, a creative, problem-solving approach can reverse this trend or else more people will leave the industry or not go into it in the first place.

Michael TartagliaEast Rockaway Progressive Care FacilityLynbrook, New York

Process is set up for failure

Your thought-provoking article in the October issue has finally put in print the frustration and helplessness felt by NHAs and DONs in their quest for a quality functioning nursing home. Your insight in bringing the problems that are always lurking in the background by the litigious survey process has been…finally brought to light by this study.

This has been a second career for me and although I do not regret a minute of it, I am happy to retire and put it behind me. Is it any wonder why good qualified people do not aspire to be directors of nursing or nursing home administrators? It is a process that has been set up for failure.

Thank you for this great piece.

Donald J. Harris, ThDAdministratorPine Hill Nursing & Rehabilitation, LLPJefferson, Texas

Became a nurse for patients, not paperwork

Thank you for pointing out the problems not only for NHAs, but the DONs in LTC. I've been a nurse for 21 years, many of those spent in LTC, and have suffered under the constraints of the survey process and those of corporate expectations and budget cuts.

LTC is expected to comply with mounting survey compliance, paperwork, decreased budgets, and fewer resources to meet those demands. Staff is asked to do more for a higher patient load. I have been an educator for CNA students for a number of years, but have recently taught my last class. I can no longer recommend the nursing field to anyone. It is high stress with little reward. I did not get into nursing for the paperwork, but to be at the bedside. We teach CNAs what they should be doing for their residents on a daily basis, but give them a patient load that makes that an impossible task. I feel that we have only begun to see the crises of fewer caregivers in LTC and the situation is only going to get worse as dedicated NHAs and DONs leave the field in greater numbers.

Janice M. Joyce, RN, BSNCNA InstructorNewStart, Inc.Springfield, Illinois


Editor's note: V. Tellis-Nayak, PhD's October column, “Disenchantment among LTC leaders—and its toll on quality,” hit home with many of our readers. The column explained some of the findings of a survey of nursing home administrators who, while satisfied with their career, are frustrated by the politics of healthcare, and as the article points out, their need to “march to the dictates of its external, faceless masters.” Following are a few of the responses we received from our readers:

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