Interview Tips - Director of Care (LTC)

  1. Hi Everyone,

    This is my first time on this board and I was wondering if anyone can give me a few pointers for an upcoming interview I have.

    The position is for the Director of Care (Health and Wellness) at a upscale retirement facility. Although I have little experience in a position exactly like this one, I do have several years of community health behind me including clinic and ltc experience as well as some acute care, including managing the clinic where I currently work.

    Can anyone give me some feedback as to what kinds of qualities they are going to be looking for in an applicant? I'm confident that they are going to look for responses that involve high quality of care while operating within the budget and promoting the facility etc etc, good communication and conflict resolution skills etc. Any other things I should look out for and try to throw in?

    Thanks in advance!!

    Last edit by Joe V on Feb 15, '12 : Reason: spacing
  2. Visit Vangold profile page

    About Vangold

    Joined: Feb '12; Posts: 1; Likes: 1


  3. by   tnbutterfly
    Hello and welcome to the site.

    I moved your post to the Nursing Interview Help forum. I hope you get some helpful responses here. You might find helpful tips in other threads in this forum.

    Good luck with the interview!!
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    Welcome, Vangold!! I'm a veteran LTC nurse, care manager, and DNS, and I'd like to help you if I can. I'm at work right now, but will be happy to answer your questions later this evening. Glad you've joined us!
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Ok, Vanessa, I'm home now and will try to give you an idea of what you're getting into, and what the management might be looking for.

    I should first say that each state has its own set of rules and regs for the different types of elder care facilities, so what's apropos in my state may be different where you live. But basically, the job sounds much like mine, which is Director of Health Services in an assisted living community. (The equivalent in LTC would be DNS/DON.) Your LTC and clinic experience will be helpful, especially if you've gained good assessment skills and know your way around an MDS or a care plan.

    Generally, you won't be doing a lot of direct care. As the title implies, you are the director of care, responsible for oversight of the health services provided to residents. You may work the occasional med cart or give a B12 here and there, but overall the job is administrative. You'll do a lot of service planning, communicating with the residents' physicians and home health agencies, auditing, and training/evaluating staff. And if you have residents with nursing needs, there will undoubtedly be some delegation......usually in the area of diabetic care, catheter maintenance and so on.

    What do companies look for when hiring for this position? Obviously, they want someone who can motivate and lead staff, so if you have ever written training materials or done presentations, you might bring copies of those with you to the interview. They also want a nurse who is very comfortable being autonomous; who can think on her feet, and who has a love of root-cause analysis (I do a lot of CSI-type sleuthing in investigating resident falls and other incidents; strangely enough, it's one of my favorite parts of the job ). It helps to be somewhat of an extrovert, too, because every manager is a "salesperson" in the world of elder care, and you will probably be expected to give tours and answer questions for prospective residents at least once in a while. Some companies even require department heads to take turns as "manager of the day" which can mean anything from answering the phone to serving lunch in the dining room with a napkin over your arm (although that was where I personally drew the line at one facility, however---I didn't go to nursing school to play maitre' d').

    Hope this is helpful to you. For all the challenges, this can be a GREAT job that can take you places you never dreamed of. Wishing you luck!