Interview Questions with Theresa Chang, Nurse Administrator

Interview Questions with Theresa Chang, Nurse Administrator
Interviewed by Jessica Chang

How did you become interested in becoming a nurse administrator?
I have been in a RN career since 1976, working in ICU, ECMO, and many other intense wards in Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and in the University of Michigan Hospitals. In 1992, as I was getting my health care administration degree in 1992, I gave a thesis: How to find quality home within the community. Because of my thesis, I then became interested in working with the senior care population. After that, I visited many different places and health providers and soon thereafter decided to become an assisted living administrator.

Duties and Responsibilities
What do you do on a typical day in your job?
1. Interact with residents, family, public at large, and health care agencies
2. Attend a lot of meetings with other nursing directors, and facilities mangers for quality care issues.
3. Participate in senior care conferences for quality care purposes.
4. Communicate with resident medical doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, and other assisted living homes via e-mail, phone, fax
5. Walk through the home.

Characteristics of workers
What special knowledge and skill does a person need in this job?
To be an assisted living administrator, you should have a broad knowledge of medical and nursing information to provide senior care needs, knowledge of hotel and lodging (because of room arrangements and home atmosphere) and knowledge of management of restaurants and dietary needs for residents.
The most important thing you need to know is to be able to meet the resident’s physical, social, and spiritual needs by providing them with respect, privacy, and dignity.

Satisfactions and Frustrations
What do you like best about your occupation?
Fulfilling a dream to help others especially the senior population because the senior population is a ‘minority (or discriminated) and seniors are considered ‘the older the wiser’ and you can share their dream and talk with them about their life and opinions.
A good quality senior care services is definitely needed and I wanted to be a pioneer to be able to give all.
Seniors are very appreciative when you can talk to them because they are often lonely.
Be able to implement whatever I feel best is needed such as programs for the seniors and actually getting to see the seniors appreciate it.

What advice would you give someone planning to enter this field?
1. You MUST enjoy want you do.
2. Study hard in ALL fields (esp. psychology)
3. While you’re studying, find part time job or volunteer in assisted living or nursing homes.
4. Prepare for RN board exams by studying hard again!!
5. Able to follow state regulations.
6. Be able to delegate responsibilities to others and follow through.

What is the entry level salary for a medical administrator?
· Entry level (without RN degree) administrator $30,000-$40,000 annually
· Entry level (with RN degree) administrator $60,000 annually
What are the potential earnings?
· With an RN degree as an administrator, you have a potential of earning ½ millions dollars annually.

Future Outlook
What changes are occurring in this field?
As the baby boomers age and knowing seniors prefer to stay in more home-like environments, the growth in needs for assisted living homes are enormous. We will see more homes in the future and there’s a DEFINITE need for it, comparatively to nursing home settings. Additionally, government and larger corporations are encouraging long term care insurance, which also covers home care (a more humane way to utilize some assistance). There is also a growing seniors population and thus more seniors are entering assisted living homes.

Lifestyles and This job
Can a person work part time or job share in this job?
No, you can’t have part time or job share because of the responsibilities and liabilities involved. However, if you are adventurous, you can become an Assisted Living owner and assign someone as an administrator. That way, you’ll be able to do whatever you want to do to enrich your family and personal life.

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