Assisted Living Concepts, Inc. / Poor management/conditions from a corporate level
I worked for an ALCCO community in southeast Texas for about 15 months. I had been going to the community as a home health nurse for several residents when the RD asked me if I would interested in the Wellness Director (nurse) job when I earned my RN degree. I took the job and began the day my license was listed on the Texas State Board of Nursing website. The RD had been the WD and had conveniently been promoted again to Regional Nurse less than two weeks after I began working. I, new to the business and as a supervisor and the ONLY nurse in the facility, was left to run the duties of the RD and the WD for two months when a new RD was hired. The air conditioning malfunctioned until it no longer worked for about a year. Finally, last summer, the company ok'd it to be replaced. In Texas, in these HOT summers with no air conditioning. Each resident room has a PTAC unit, so they found relief in their rooms, but for the visitors, volunteers and employees--90+ degree heat=inhumane. They did not care.
The comment made about the only concern being sales...you hit the nail on the head. The sales manager is required to perform 20-25 sales call weekly, the RD is required to do 10 (1/2 that of the sales manager, but also responsible for all of the micromanaged tasks of the building/operations/staffing/ etc. I was required to perform 2 calls weekly which was not bad, but I am not a sales-person. Nurses/WDs with under 40 residents are paid a salary based on the following formula: 1 hour per patient per week. So, we had 32 residents=I got paid for 32 hours. Do not be confused, you will work much more than 32 hours per week and that is Laurie Bebo's expectation as she makes the comment that 12-hour shifts are a standard by most "tri-fecta" staff. Now, if your facility has 40+ residents, you are paid for 40 hours per week.
Upon hire, you are promised (or at least I was) that you will receive adequate training for your job. Negative. Count yourself lucky that you will meet with your regional nurse to complete your "check-off
list"...consider that your formal training. I was luckier than most because my regional nurse (the former WD/RD of my facility) liked me and would tell everyone she "hand-picked", but I can tell you that most other WDs were not.When I would vocally disagree with my regional nurse, I received a "1" on my "quarterly" evaluation, but the hilarious thing about it...that "1" was based partially on the time-frame that was used for my annual raise that I did receive. Again, I was lucky because my RD, sales manager, and most of the direct care staff (who make minimum wage) did not receive annual raises. Per company policy, the rating system is 5, 3, 1. Only one direct care staff member could receive a rating of 5 which resulted in a 5% raise. Out of about 10-12 employees, maybe 3-4 received 3% raises, yet every year, the daily rates for residents to live in the community increase at least $3/day "to cover raises". Sure they do.
For 15 months, I asked (almost weekly) what the process was to implement the hourly pay of the direct care staff at our facility. It was virtually impossible (once I actually got an answer) because there was an analysis that had to completed based on three other assisted living facilities that had the number of patients we did and did not require any certification AT ALL within a 30 mile radius (I believe). Impossible in the Golden Triangle. Also, the PSAs (personal service attendants) and the Medication Aides do not require certification and do not receive any extra money for being certified because that would require ALCCO to pay them more. Want to know who is responsible for training them, monitoring them, and any mistakes they make (as un-certified personnel)...the one nurse in the community...the WELLNESS DIRECTOR. You know, the WD (like me) who was scheduled to work 4-8 hour shifts to comprise her 32-hour workweek). Yep...nice, huh?
When the president of the company that you work for is listed on Forbes and makes a base salary equal to what I earned a month refuses to shake her employees hands and goes as far as to tell them that this may not be the job for them (after they have busted their buttocks to make things work as best they could)...there is a problem. When she makes almost twice as much in bonuses as her annual base salary, but when the majority of her employees are not receiving duly-earned raises, let alone bonuses...there is a problem. I agree that if you are working at any job, it is your/my responsibility as a nurse/employee/human being to stand up to the wrongs and for what is right, but I can honestly and sincerely tell you that Assisted Living Concepts based out of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and run by President/CEO Laurie Bebo is not going to change anything about the current situation because she is making off like a bandit. How is the president/CEO of a company meeting her criteria for bonuses when most of her employees are not?
I will say that at our facility, the majority of staff loves their jobs and that love for their job and the residents they care for is the only thing that keeps them there. Yes, there are some that do not care but they were/are the minority. If not for the restraints/constraints put on the local facilities by the corporate office, they would be much more efficient, effective and "properly" staffed. I might consider placing my loved one there with the current staff that is in place because they have proven their loyalty to the residents and I know they care because I worked with most of them. That being said, I would never allow my money or their money to line the pockets of those who are in charge at the regional and corporate level.
As far as working for ALCCO, I can handle almost any adversity or difficult situation, but that was a very educational experience for me. I will find it impossible to every secure employment with a company more poorly operated, but at the same time...I learned how I did not want to be. As a nurse, being on call 24/7 is draining especially when you are not properly compensated for it. In my area, the going rate for a WD is $25/hour. You can go to work at home health, a school, hospice, or hospital and make more without the headaches of having to deal with the thoughtless doings of a severely micro-managed company whose priority is not patient care, but sales or B-I-B (butts-in-beds).
I sincerely hope that change comes to ALCCO, but I do not see it happening. If you offered any job at any level...RUN! You can do much better and have much better luck making changes that desperately need to take place. Hope this helps.