A highlight of the recent ACHCA 50th Annual Convention was the students in university programs and internships preparing to become long-term care administrators.
This industry will benefit from fresh, passionate, and energetic young people with new ideas, an optimistic perspective and the desire to make a difference in the lives of residents in long-term care.
Some of the students presented their research in poster sessions. They were excited to discuss their work and talk about a future in long-term care. As participants in educational offerings, they were eager to learn and had many questions. Their enthusiasm was contagious!
One young lady I spoke with said that she has known that she wanted to be an administrator since she was a child. What kind of passion and enthusiasm do you think she will bring to the industry? I can’t wait to see what she creates.
Another young man had already secured a job as a nursing assistant/orderly so that he could understand the internal workings of an organization from all perspectives. His willingness to experience what the staff do, what they think, and how they manage their work on a daily basis will be invaluable to him when, as an administrator, he has to make decisions as the leader.
Health administration programs need to promote the benefits of becoming a long-term care administrator. Yes, there are many challenges but the desire to positively influence the lives of older adults is a blessing. More programs are needed as well as faculty who encourage entrance in the field, communicate the benefits of becoming a long-term care administrator and engage students in clinical experiences that are positive and rewarding.
Nearly every one of us will need such services currently about 70% of all adults spend at least some time in long term care. If someday I need to be admitted to a long-term care environment, may I be lucky enough to be in a facility that is led by one of these great young people.