May 11, 2015
This post is going to be about staffing. Staffing is THE most important piece of the puzzle of getting the health club for seniors up and running beautifully. Staff working as a team to improve the world of health care really is a beautiful thing. The Health Club for Seniors will be a success or a failure depending on the team who works there. The Health Club for Seniors is not made of the clubhouse, or the programming. It is made of the staff. People are important. Things are not important.
You have probably heard my story about how I enrolled in nursing school and got a job in a nursing home back in 1974, before regulations were in place (regulations help but they cannot change an evil person into a good one). A nurse aide did not even have to be certified back then, so my first day on the job was shadowing a couple of ‘experienced’ nurse aides. The nursing home had marble floors and crystal chandeliers and was a brand new, state of the art facility, but those nurse aides that I shadowed turned the place into a horror film set.
Of course, the verses in the bible about white washed tombs comes to mind. Or cups that are clean on the outside, but dirty on the inside. Speaking of that, I am really not good at knowing when people are lying to me, so we have hired an aggressive records searching company. They are expensive, but well worth the money. Discovery beats recovery is their motto. And of course we will have mandatory initial drug testing before employment and random drug testing after employment. At the Bluegrass Aging Consortium last Tuesday, we learned that the State of Kentucky is going to be offering national background record checks for a discount until the grant money runs out. We are not eligible to use the services until we are licensed. We can’t get licensed until we hire staff and pretend we are operational for the inspection. Catch 22 stuff.
My role as director of Grace Place, after staff is in place, is to provide the staff with all of the tools and resources they need to do their job well. Relieving stress by proper training and minimizing the potential for surprises is optimal too. We are going to be very transparent and share information freely. And staff will be able to access a computer program for seeing hours worked, benefits, time requested off, etc. I believe in empowering people. God has given us each unique talents and strengths to use to help people, if we are willing. People need the trust and opportunity to use their gifts.
We will pay well, too. I know that quality people come at a price. And I know that what our staff will do requires a lot of energy and expertise, deserving of rewards. We will be a fun place to work. Pets and children are welcome to accompany staff, as long as they can accomplish their job duties with them along. Pets must stay upstairs, separate from our members, unless it is a special time of sharing, for safety reasons, of course. Staff will be encouraged to submit suggestions and/or criticisms anonymously in our “Better Box” or maybe we will adopt something like this: http://positivesharing.com/2014/02/kill-suggestion-box-heres-much-better-way/
In any case we will have weekly meetings to update everyone on changes and to learn from one another and grow together.
So if you know of an LPN, and/or an RN, and/or someone who loves good food and sharing it with others (all part time positions), please tell them about us. I thank you in advance, and our future members will thank you, too!