While no two days are ever the same, if someone is to understand the role of an administrator, they need to understand the daily duties and a normal schedule of that role. While there are many challenges that are thrown at administrators, this is a position of authority that requires individuals to handle many distractions. But these distractions are not typically from the patients. This is not a “hands-on” role. Administrators are the people behind the scenes. The managers that are the glue that holds facilities together. They are the ones handling the administrative tasks that allow the primary care nurses and physicians a chance to do their job. Some of the tasks that administrators handle are routine, while others are completely out of the blue. One nice thing for administrators is that they usually work a very nice and structured schedule. Many of them work Monday-Friday, 8 hour shifts/5 days a week. (Princeton Review, 2016) This is the kind of schedule that can provide stability to a household and one’s life instead of an ever-changing rotation schedule that some nurses work. But “hospitals are open round the clock – 24/7 – and administrators may be called in at any hour to make decisions and resolve disputes. Administrators also attend staff meetings, participate in health planning councils, go to fund-raising events, and travel to professional association conventions.” (Princeton Review, 2016)
Beginning of the Shift (Usually 7:30am-10:30am)
The initial goal of an administrator is that their facility will run smoothly for the day. The first thing that most administrators have to deal with is scheduling. While many facilities have schedules made sometimes up to months in advance, things happen. Employees call out sick, some have injuries, or emergencies that can cause havoc on the schedule. So if any nurses have called out sick amendments need to be made. Some facilities have nurses on call, others just know who is always willing to pick up overtime, but as an administrator it is your job to ensure everything is covered.
Once any initial fires have been put out, most administrators will have a detailed schedule of all meetings for the day. They will usually be reviewing their schedule while being interrupted by nurses punching in or clocking out with vacation questions, payroll questions, FMLA questions, maternity leave questions, etc. A lot of times the busiest times of the day are whenever nurses are either coming to work or leaving work. They will interrupt your day, and you will accommodate them, because you know that their questions are relevant to keeping them happily and gainfully employed at your facility.
By this time you have been pulled in multiple directions already and haven’t accomplished much on your to-do list. You start to knock out payroll that is due by 4:30 today. Your phone rings 3 different times while you are trying to get this finished. But you let your voicemail answer the phone and pray that those calls are not emergencies that must be dealt with immediately.
Middle of the Shift (Usually from 10:30am-1:30pm)
As you are starting to enter the middle part of your day, you feel like you have accomplished one big thing, payroll. You have returned the messages left on your voicemail, helped out the few people that walked into your office and covered the shift for a nurse that called out. Now you start focusing on a patient complaint that came across your desk. After reviewing the complaint you form an office huddle to address the concern. During that meeting two other things are brought up. One concern is about the cleaning company and one concern is about weekend coverage. You make a note about both and return to your office hoping to eat lunch.
When you sit back at your desk you have realized that you missed 3 phone calls while out in the huddle. “You look at your calendar and remember the accountant is coming for her quarterly visit today and you don’t have everything ready. You realize lunch is out for today, grab a soft drink from the break room, grab a packet of crackers from your drawer and review your email. You’ve been advertising on craigslist for a medical records clerk and you take a quick look at the responses you’ve gotten and see there are two that look like they have possibilities. You call both candidates and leave messages that you’d like to speak with them about the position. You get the rest of the information together for the accountant and clear a space at the desk where she works when she comes.” (Whaley, 2010)
End of the Shift (Usually 1:30pm to 4:30pm)
So now everything is prepped for the accountant. They arrive promptly at 1:30pm for the meeting and start to go through their paperwork. You try to return some messages in between their questions and try to multi-task for the hour and a half that they are in your office. You look at your watch. You have 30 minutes before your next meeting. This meeting is within a billing manager that is looking to audit some bills that were sent out last month. You print out all the paperwork with 15 minutes to spare and your phone rings. It is one of the candidates you are hoping to interview for the medical records position. You speak with her for 10 minutes, line up an interview for the end of the week and then rush to the meeting arriving 2 minutes early.
The meeting goes smoothly and actually only lasted 20 minutes when you had it scheduled for 30. You have 10 minutes back on your schedule for yourself!!! Time to knock out some emails! After going through those for about 10 minutes you realize that Nurses day is approaching later this month and it is your job to orchestrate the office celebration. You start looking into vendors and putting the scheduling things for it when you are interrupted by the sound of a vacuum.
The cleaning crew arrives and you walk through several exam rooms with them, talking about the level of cleanliness that is required. You make a mental note to touch base with the nurse who is monitoring the rooms and see if there is improvement in a few days.” (Whaley, 2010)
It’s now 4:45. You were supposed to leave work 15 minutes ago. But you got a lot accomplished in the day and you feel productive. You make a post-it note for yourself to address the weekend coverage concern brought up during your huddle, clean up your desk a little, and leave the office. Tomorrow is another day!!!
Whaley, M. P. (2010, June 8). A Career in Healthcare Management-A Day in the Life of a Practice Administrator. Retrieved December 27, 2016, from http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Career-in-Healthcare-Management—A-Day-in-the-Life-of-a-Practice-Administrator&id=4443698
Princeton Review. (2016). Hospital Administrator. Retrieved December 27, 2016, from https://www.princetonreview.com/careers/203/hospital-administrator
SJU. (2016). A Day in the Life of a Health Care Administrator: What to Expect. Retrieved December 27, 2016, from http://online.sju.edu/resource/health-human-services/day-in-life-healthcare-administrator