Group Homes- what is it like to work in them?Register Today!
- by Chaoticdreams33 Oct 11, '08I have been searching this site to find out info on working in and supervising group homes. (Thanks for all of the info I have found already).
I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share their experiences with me, I would really appreciate hearing from you.
I am considering a position managing the medical needs of adolescents with developmental disabilities and behavioral issues in several group homes.
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- Oct 12, '08 by GGT1It is hard work that is not very glamourous. The non-professional staff are not paid very well, which I believe reflects on the environment and the overall care of the individuals. It also depends on the level of developmental disability and the type of facility.
- Oct 12, '08 by mickeymouse123Hi, I am an RN that manages a group home for developmentally delayed adults. I specialize in older adults that are rapidly aging. As the previous post states that a lot of the workers are under trained and under paid, which can result in a lot of frustration on your part when you try and pass on some repsonsibilites to the staff. The support that the association/society gives you will make or break your ability to do a rewarding job.
Personally I find the work with the clients/residents very rewarding and appreciative, it is the work with my staff team, medical professionals and social workers the most difficult.
- Oct 13, '08 by Chaoticdreams33Thanks. Would you think that observing in one of the homes would give me an idea opf how well run they are? I know there is only so much you can learn in a few hours or a day, but if it was absolutely horrible I would know, right?
Mickeymouse- isn't it always the co-workers that are the most difficult part of the job? thanks for sharing!
- Oct 13, '08 by GGT1That's probably a good idea chaoticdreams. These DD people need someone who really cares about their overall well being and not just a paycheck. They are often the rejects of society and are put in group homes because family members do not want to care for them. I think group homes are much better than just placing them in institutions but still they often do not get the care and love they need.
Just an observation that I have noticed... if the family is still involved in the care of the client, the staff provide better care. If the family is not involved, they are often neglected.... PLEASE DON'T MAKE THIS A HABBIT IN YOUR CARE. Honestly, I think it is those that do not have a caring family that need the most from us... why is this not reality?
- Oct 15, '08 by mickeymouse123Hi again, I think shadowing the group home would be a good idea. Often you will get a "feeling" of the home when you spent an average day there. I would also find out what the staff turn over rate is - not so much with the casual staff, but the full time staff. 3 out of 4 of my full time staff have been with me for over 10 years. They may not have a lot of common sense(which causes most of my head banging against the wall) but they do have a big heart and love the residents. I would also find out who the medical professionals does the society uses - are they comfortable with DD?, are they educated or open to learning and suggestions? etc. I am not sure what the system looks like where you are, I am in Canada, and where I live we have access to specialized professionals if needed. We have been lucky with GP's and dentist as they are very good with our residents. However, I have run into other managers who have horrible stories with the health system, and I am forever thankful for the relationship I have with our medical team.
After shadowing for the day, and asking questions about the protocals of the society, then perhaps you will be able to make a decision. After all if you don't try it, you can't make a difference or change what needs to be changed.
- Oct 15, '08 by kytheI have been working in group homes for the medically fragile developmentally disabled for about a year now and I love it. When I go back to school for RN, I will consider management in group homes after getting some basic hospital experience. It is a mellow environment and you actually have time to get done everything that needs to be done. I enjoy being able to get to know the residents, not just see them for a few minutes a shift during med pass or treatments. I feel the quality of care provided to the residents is much higher than what I have seen in nursing homes.
Time management and the flow of the day is quite different than in other facilities I have worked in. Since there are only two people on shift at a time, it means you help the aide with all two-person lifts as well as a lot of basic things like preparing meals, housework, and toileting and changing briefs. I have met nurses who refuse to help because they feel they didn't go to school for this stuff and that assisting with basic care is somehow beneath them. They don't last long.
I do agree with others that the aides are undertrained and underpaid. There is some loophole in the law that allows on-the-job training in group homes rather than requiring staff to be CNA's. It is CNA work though, but the aides aren't being paid as such and when they leave they can't claim the experience they actually have since they are not eligible to go for their CNA license. I've worked with some really good aides though and have found many people very dedicated to their residents and workplace.
- Oct 17, '08 by Chaoticdreams33Thank you so much kythe, mickeymouse123, and GGT1! I really appreciate it.
I spend some time in 2 of the homes and met some of the staff. Everyone was so nice and the homes were really lovely. The kids seem to be pretty stable medically. And everything was really organized and clean. I got to meet some of the kids, and I have a really good feeling about it. I start next month and couldn't be happier. It seems like an awful lot to learn, but I'm sure it will all come in time.
The job is pretty much managing the medical care of the kids. Coordinating appointments, talking to their docs and dentists and psychiatrists, making sure all the meds are in order, training staff, overlooking the medication administration by the med cert staff, making sure all documentation is up to date and correct, perparing quarterly and annual reports for each kid, admission assessments, and handling any medical problems that are acute and chronic. And hopefully I will be able to spend some time with the kids too and get to know them.
I think I will add more to this thread after I start, so that anyone else who has this question can read about it here. Thanks again!
- Oct 22, '08 by hb4hikesSounds like a good setting. Your role is very similar to what I have been doing for years but I am phasing out except for some per diem. I enjoy the folks I work with and care for tremendously but the company has grown a lot and nursing has been cut back to the point I could no longer manage my family and get all my work done. I plan to get my 2 older children involved in helping out with special olympics as I did when younger to hopefully foster a sense of empathy and service for others. It is a rewarding field but you will definately see how a lot of folks with DD are discriminated against by healthcare "professionals" and by the general public. So like previous responses when you have a good medical team be thankful !! I always made a point to send Christmas cards and occassional thank you notes for providing such quality care to the specialist, dentist, etc who cared for our challenging behavioral clients. Always advocate for your patient's needs and be persistant in finding quality health services.! Good Luck! Holly
- Apr 24, '09 by lvnandmomx3I am a LVN program nurse for the DD/MR population. While I struggle with the fact that I don't get hands on experience I really truely love what I do. We will be opening up 2 group homes in the near future and I hope to work in the 2 of them which may give me a little more hands on. It is so rewarding to get a hug and thank you from these individuals.