Written by on March, 1, 2015.
When you choose to work in nursing homes or extended care facilities, you want to feel proud of your institution. You're undertaking an important career in which you'll aid and influence the lives of vulnerable people. However, you know some care centers struggle with bad reputations or negative assumptions. So when you're ready to find a job in your new field, how can you tell which nursing homes have positive work and care environments?
To find out more about care centers you might want to work for, go visit them on a normal day. You shouldn't announce your visit beforehand if you don't have to. Just see if you can look around and talk to some of the staff. Signs of a quality nursing home include: Low Turnover Employers can't always control when they have to terminate employees, or when workers leave for other opportunities. However, you should take a moment to ask about the turnover at the nursing home you're visiting. Does the staff seem to switch over completely e very few months, or do they have many long-term employees? Does most of the staff seem familiar and experienced in their positions, or is everyone still learning the ropes? Although there are many reasons for employee turnover, an exceptionally high turnover rate in a nursing home could indicate a negative working environment. Adequate Staff If the nursing home you're interested in is hiring, they obviously need more people on their staff. However, you should take a moment to investigate whether their staffing requirements are generally satisfied, or if the employees are constantly spread thin. You don't w ant to be so overburdened that you feel you can't adequately care for all your patients. Adequate staffing is often a sign of a nursing home that wants its residents to be well cared for and its employees to have a reasonable patient load. Well-Informed Staff As you tour the nursing home you're looking at, talk to the staff and see how they feel about their jobs. Do they seem competent, well informed, and professional? When you talk to them, do they generally speak well of their positions and seem fond of their patients and the facility? Alternatively, you should be wary if the staff seems misadvised or unhappy. Although one unhappy employee doesn't say much about that particular facility, a fleet of dissatisfied workers sends up a red flag. Signs of Progress When you look around the nursing home and interact with the staff, do you get the sense that they are constantly working to improve? Sometimes comfort with the status quo indicates the facility is already doing a good job and wants to keep it that way. However, most quality care centers strive to improve their processes and constantly work to give their staff and residents the best treatment possible. Respect for Residents You want to work in a nursing home because you respect the people you care for and want to help make their lives easier. Does the staff at your potential workplace reflect these same values? Do they seem fond of the residents and treat them with dignity and respect? Working in a positive and respectful environment over one with frustrated, impatient employees will make your job much more pleasant to perform. Clean Environment Does the nursing home you're visiting emphasize cleanliness? Although no care facility is going to be perfect, you should be able to witness prompt attention to any hygiene issues and quick cleanup of spills and accidents. The care center should look clean overall and shouldn't have any pervasive or musty smells. Care center staff have important jobs and influential positions. Be sure you can feel proud of the nursing home you work for by watching out for these trademark qualities.