What Are the Duties of Administrative Assistants in Nursing Homes?

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Nursing homes require a lot of oversight, because they provide patients with necessary medical equipment and professional care. A nursing home administrative assistant shares the responsibilities of managing the facility with the nursing home administrator and must fulfill many essential duties that keep the organization running.

Daily Operations

The administrative assistant works with the administrator to maintain and improve the nursing home's quality of service. This may include pre-screening new residents, examining medical equipment, addressing personnel matters and attending to financial matters. Other responsibilities might include attending workshops, seminars and educational sessions on behalf of the facility. The administrative assistant may also attend committee and board meetings.

Develops and Monitors Policies

A number of policies help nursing homes run efficiently. The assistant collaborates with the nursing home administrator to develop and enforce policies that guide the facility. She might be involved in decisions to discipline staff, and develop visitor protocol and procedures for patient care. To ensure compliance, the assistant must be familiar with and able to communicate and explain policies to staff, patients, family members and governing agencies at any given time, especially when problems arise.

Nursing homes are heavily regulated by state and federal laws, and assistants must regularly be on the look out for changes to ensure compliance with laws. They must have a solid understanding of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPPA, which protects patient privacy. They need to know specific state laws that regulate cleanliness and hygiene, and staff to patient ratio requirements.

Participates in Personnel Decisions

Administrative assistants often participate in employee management. The assistant may review resumes and select job candidates when the nursing facility is hiring. Some assistants might participate in termination, disciplinary or grievance hearing procedures. The administrative assistant also manages employees in other ways, such as scheduling routine training for medical staff, and conducting and participating in training programs.

Supervises the Facility

Nursing home administrative assistants might be charged with ensuring that residents and staff are safe. They may review accidents and incidents that take place at the facility and make recommendations accordingly to secure the residents' well-being. The assistant may act as the facility's abuse coordinator by initiating and coordinating abuse and neglect investigations.

Sometimes an assistant must oversee the public relations program, and act as the representative for the facility when necessary.

Minimum Education Requirements

Employers may prefer to hire assistants with bachelor's degrees in nursing home administration or other health-related degrees. Administrative assistants may also need a Nursing Home Administrator state license, or be eligible to sit for the test.

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