I am an administrator. Actually, more specifically, I am a long-term care administrator, and I’m one of thousands of men and women who choose to say that. 

No big deal, you say? Well, let me tell you what these individuals have endured and continue to endure to this day. 

Our nation’s long-term care leaders have led the way in the battle with the pandemic that continues even today (despite the impending end to the public health emergency). The physical and emotional toll has placed undue strain on us and our profession. We have been thrust into an unwanted spotlight and often vilified in the mainstream media (even more than before the pandemic).

Subject to a conflicting and changing regulatory environment, without adequate staffing and with ever-changing directives from local, state and national agencies, leaders have been on the job throughout it all. Administrators are key players in the care team and are entrusted with the responsibility of managing the care of our loved ones.

We touch the lives of residents and families, and, most importantly, ensure that staff provides the highest level of quality care to a vulnerable population.

To become an administrator takes commitment and dedication. Upon becoming an administrator, we continue life-long learning to assure we stay abreast of the changing landscape in aging services. We are masters of multi-tasking, considering every aspect of a person’s life, not just their medical needs, while building a sense of home and community.

Administrators are the counselor to the employee who is enduring financial hardship, the anchor of stability for elders who too often see different faces caring for them each day, and the voice in the community who tells the stories of inspiration, achievement and hope that occur every day.

Each day, these heroes give their all to assure their communities are equipped to provide high quality care and services to the elders in their care. They embody servant leadership by putting the needs of their patients, residents, families and co-workers ahead of their own. No, this career is not at all for the weak!

March 13 to 17 is National Long Term-Care Administrator’s Week. During this week, fellow staff, residents, families and volunteers have an extra opportunity to say, “thank you” and honor the administrators who lead our nation’s long-term care communities. 

The nation owes our long-term care administrators a debt of gratitude. Please join me and the American College of Health Care Administrators as we take some time to show our appreciation to these selfless leaders! 

Robert Lane, MA, CNHA FACHCA is president and CEO at The American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA). Based in Oklahoma, he has spent 39 years an administrator, field trainer, Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) project manager, speaker, and consultant. 

The opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News guest submissions are the author’s and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Long-Term Care News or its editors.