As always, I’m very moved when I receive a message from individuals who have worked or are currently working within the nursing home industry who basically confirm what I already know about the pathetic problems with nursing home care. Their insights help me to better understand what is going on and their courage to speak out — albeit anonymously through this blog — give me hope that one day (hopefully sooner rather than later) the quality of care will significantly improve!

I received one such message from a former nursing home Administrator within the past few hours. She wrote…

I am a nursing home administrator who has left the field. Let me tell you why. I’ve gone into several buildings as the new administrator and I came in like a lion. The facilities were filthy, the care was substandard — even scary — and the staff was crude and rude.

I made the managers walk the halls and help the overworked nurses pass medications. I made the Certified Nurses Aide’s help activities to get residents to the cafeteria to enjoy the entertainment. I gardened, painted, spent my weekends there, dragged my husband in to mulch and fired a whole kitchen staff who were stealing.

Guess what? The managers made up stories about me to corporate. I wasn’t “liked” I was told. It is important that I be “liked” by the managers ,my corporate boss said. I was told to back “down” and “back off”. I was going too fast. I asked him to interview the residents to ask them if I was going “too fast”.

I changed buildings around and even got high fives from state officials as to improvements — but I got fired for riding managers to do their jobs.

Here are the facts. The good administrators leave, the bad ones stay. What do I mean by “bad”? They never leave their office, they listen with a smile as residents and families complain — then do nothing because they don’t want to make waves with nursing and management. Their job is to simply keep costs down . . . Period. The Director of Nursing really runs the building, which means she supports shortcuts for staff and management. If she didn’t she would be rode out the way a good administrator is.

When I went into the field I wanted to make the world a better place. Boy was I a fool.

In a word: WOW! This former administrator — truly one of the “good ones” — tells it like it is. I’ve known at  least one such “good administrator” (or at least one that went out of her way to improve the quality of her resident’s care). She too was HATED by her staff. How dare a nursing home administrator show up at 5:00 am to personally check out complaints she had received about third shift staff?!?  How dare she take seriously the concerns of family members about their loved one’s care?!?

The former administrator’s words give us true insight into the dysfunctional culture of the nursing home industry, serving as a reminder WHY we nursing home reform activists MUST keep the pressure on our legislators and the nursing industry.If we don’t keep u p the pressure on the corporate goons and politicians NOTHING will change for the better!

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