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  1. Can you get your resident council involved? We used to have this problem many moons ago, and then the resident council started complaining about it - and amazingly, the problem that "couldn't be fixed" was fixed within a matter of weeks!
  2. I've been in the nursing home business for 30 years and an activity director for 25 years, all at the same facility. In the past 15 years or so, I haven't had a problem with professional respect, although I have to be honest and say the pay isn't up there with PTs and OTs. Part of the problem re: professional respect is, in my opinion, our profession's roots as "the fun and games lady." When I first started working in this profession I was one of the few degreed activity directors in our local group of 25 directors, most were CNAs that had worked their way into the profession. I realize the lack of formal training isn't as common as it once was, but old attitudes die hard sometimes, and formal training goes a long way toward being recognized as a professional. If one wants professional respect, one must walk the walk and talk the talk. As the activity director: -Do you dress on a par with other department heads, or do you go to work looking like you're ready to work in the garden? I keep an extra set of clothes in my office to change into if what I wear to work isn't appropriate for whatever comes up in the day - like that fishing trip we decide to take the guys on. -Do you write care plans that are on a professional par with nursing and social service care plans? -Are you able to discuss resident condition and change of condition as an equal with nursing and social services? -Do you write your own policies, are they at least as well written as those written by nursing, or do you have someone else write them for you? -Do you have an understanding of your budget that is on the same level as that of other department managers? -When you wish to start a new service, buy new equipment, or hire new staff, are you able to argue your case using objective facts, or do your rely on "the residents want/need it?" -Do you have a strong understanding of the regulations, and not just F248 and F249? Do you have a good understanding of all of the Quality of Life regulations? How about the Life Safety Codes? Quality of Care Codes? -Do you have an active Quality assurance program? I know all of those things take time, something we're all in short supply of. I have one relief assistant and one 20 hr/wk assistant in a 50 bed facility, run activities 7 days a week and 3 evenings a week with only a very small volunteer force. But until you can answer yes to all of the above questions, professional respect is going to be hard to come by, no matter what job title you are carrying.
  3. If administration sees you as the department manager and her supervisor, then you should also have the ability to discipline. Talk with your HR person for guidelines. What you describe is insubordination, plain and simple, and shouldn't be allowed to continue. It sounds like you need to regain control of your own department, because you are ultimately responsible for the quality of services your department offers to the residents. And that begins with the AA recognizing who is in charge. Would I be wrong to guess that you are new in the department and she's been there for awhile? Many years ago, when I was a new college grad I took charge of a department of women old enough to be my mother with a lot more years of hands on experience - and had some of the same problems that you're describing. I hate to sound harsh - but "ya gotta let 'em know who's in charge" - when that finally became clear to my staff we had a much better working relationship - though one of them was encouraged to find the door in the process. Good luck to you.
  4. I have had some success by building on their hobbies and lifestyles and having them "fix" or "organize" something. For instance, a fisherman is given a tackle box with bobbers, sinkers, lures (with hooks removed) all tossed in the bottom of the box in a really disorganized way, and I ask him to put the bobbers in one drawer and the sinkers in another. A retired carpenter gets an assortment of nails, nuts, bolts and screws to sort/organize. One of my CNAs tapes fishing or hunting shows from tv to show to the lower functioning men, they really seem to enjoy those too. I have more trouble finding things for higher functioning men. Anyone have any ideas there? Rose
  5. I'm in Wisconsin, have been in my facility as AD for 23 years. I've been salaried most of the time that I've been here, started out at about $12,500, currently at just under $40,000. I am certified and have a bachelor's degree in Music Therapy as well as 6 grad credits in psychology... sometimes I find it frustrating that a teacher with very little experience working 9 months of the year makes more than I do in this town.
  6. radkins


    I know I'm a few weeks late for your meeting, but I'm currently doing a qa on a resident satisfaction survey that I have a volunteer conducting for me. We have 66 residents, CMS considers 30 of the interviewable, my volunteer is doing a satisfaction survey with 10 of these residents.....my next qa will be developed from the results of that survey. We've also done joint qa's with nursing and social services, a couple of them were related to falls.....when the resident fell, was he/she occupied, trying to be occupied, independent activity supplies within reach, etc? Also did one on night time activities for our insomniacs that ended up in an inservice for the night staff to orient them to what was available for the residents who couldn't sleep. We had a group of residents who complained that the same people got to go on every outing and for every special meal group - that resulted in a study and a change in some of our routines with those activities - 3 very vocal ladies were in fact going to everything...and bragging to the rest of the group that they were doing it. :-?
  7. We don't serve alcohol in any activities, though I serve na beer, wine and virgin drinks in activities. Residents who want a drink can do so with a dr. order in their rooms or in informal groups. Part of our challenge is that 3 of our 6 admitting docs are very conservative Christians who do not believe in drinking and will not usually write an order for their residents who wish to drink unless the resident makes an issue out of it. However, if we take a group out to dinner and they order a drink on the side (and they pay for it themselves) I see nothing unless they have a medication that they really shouldn't mix with alcohol....in which case the are quietly counseled as to why having a drink isn't a good idea, and then the choice is theirs as long as they are their own decision maker.
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