Long Term Care is Tough!

-Submitted by: Julie Wyatt, LNFA, THCA Region 4 Chair


If anyone ever asks you, working in Long Term Care is tough! It’s hard physically, mentally, financially and most of all, it’s hard emotionally.  And it doesn’t matter what your job is, they are all challenging. However, in the midst of everyday struggles, we as healthcare providers must find a way to be caring and compassionate with those we strive to serve each day.

One of my jobs as administrator of a skilled nursing facility is to orient the new hires as we bring them on board to provide services for our residents. In doing so, I try to stress to each one the importance of customer service and showing compassion to our residents and family members.  We often forget two things: First, our residents and their families are our customers and as such, they have a choice of health care providers.  Few facilities operate in an environment of being the residents’ only option.  We must work each day to let them know that they are appreciated and valued.

Next, it is rarely a good day for those who enter our door seeking our services. Chances are the potential resident has experienced a healthcare crisis that has brought them to us. Whether it is for short-term rehab or long term placement, family members are often confused and over whelmed with the prospect of placing their loved one in our facility.  This requires us to be patient, understanding and compassionate while walking them through the selection, and admission process.  I often hear co-workers complain about dealing with difficult family members; and I must admit, I have been guilty of the same.  However, we must remember that this is often a new experience for them.  They may be dealing with grief over the realization that their loved one is nearing the end of their life or even guilt over the decision to seek placement in our facility.  We are the professionals.  It is our job to guide them through this process and provide compassion and reassurance that they have made the right choice.

That being said, it is also my job to be compassionate to my co-workers. It is difficult to care for someone day after day and then be the person holding their hand when they die or listen to them cry as they try to get in touch with a son/daughter who refuses to answer their calls.  The emotional struggle takes its toll.  We have to be a strong support system for each other.  Few other people will understand the challenges we face each day.  I try to encourage my staff to take care of themselves and share their frustrations with each other so they don’t suffer from burn out.  It’s just as important to remember that for myself.

I started off by saying long term care is tough, but I’d like to finish by saying, it would be harder to find a job where the rewards are greater!


Mark Your Calendar with these upcoming Region Meetings:staff-tipping-point-landing-page-04


THCA Region 3 (San Antonio and surrounding): May 25th, San Antonio, TX.  Social Mixer begins at 5:30, followed by dinner and presentation.  Guest Speaker Chelsie Stone with THCA Associate Business Member, Nutritious Lifestyles will present “The Power of Nutrition for Wound Healing”.  The presentation will review the pathogenesis of pressure injuries, the improved clinical outcomes associated with adequate nutritional status, and nutritional strategies to promote wound healing.  This session will review the best practices for nutrition and wound healing according to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel’s guidelines.  Meeting notices will be disseminated soon.  If you are not currently receiving meeting notices for this region and would like to, please e-mail your request to THCA Region 3 Chair, Raul Espinosa, Jr. at:

Region 3 Chair: Raul Espinosa, Jr.


THCA Regions 8 & 9 (Dallas/Ft. Worth & surrounding):

May 4, 2017, Lunch Meeting begins at 11:00 AM, Arlington, TX. Presentation, “CMS Dietary Final Rule: Implications for our Food and Nutrition Services Department”.

Want to help your residents maintain healthy skin, avoid those F314 tags and litigation risk? The new National Pressure Ulcer (NPUAP) Guidelines are out, including 575 recommendations. This presentation will help you boil down the nutrition recommendations to a usable format, and will cover the nutritional recommendations and how to implement them!

Guest Speaker is Annette Presley, Dietitian with THCA Associate Business Member, Nutritious Lifestyles and provides CE’s for LNFA’s, AL Managers, Nurses & Social Workers.

Lunch provided by THCA Associate Business Member, Synergy Care!  If you are not currently receiving meeting notices for this region, please e-mail a request to be added to:

Region 8 Chair: Jodi Scarbro

Region 9 Chair: Jim Culp


Questions? Contact your Region Chair or THCA staff Gina Muniz at