Long term care is a fast-growing profession nationally and in Oregon, offering fulfilling careers, continuing education, and plentiful opportunities for advancement.
Professional care providers at all levels deliver vital care and help ensure a positive quality of life, offering compassion, companionship, and comfort to seniors and people with disabilities.
Just a few of the fulfilling careers in the long term care profession are listed below.
A long term care administrator or executive director is a health services manager who directs operations in facilities. They are responsible for overseeing staff, managing finances, ensuring security, and seeing that residents receive proper care and services.
OHCA offers a class, monthly, that helps professionals get certified as ALF/RCF administrators in Oregon. Learn more about what it takes to become an administrator and the educational offerings OHCA providers to help with this process by viewing the “ALF/RCF Administrator Training” section here.
Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Responsibilities may include activities such as changing linens or transporting a care recipient. CNAs are licensed and trained to work under the supervision of a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN).
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are certified professionals who have completed at least one year of post-high school education. LPNs often provide basic bedside care under the direction of a registered nurse (RN) or physician. Duties may involve monitoring vital signs, changing dressings or collecting samples for medical tests. LPNs can also assist with personal needs, such as bathing, dressing and walking.
Registered nurses (RNs) provide medical care, education and comfort to patients. They have completed a nursing program and meet state licensing requirements. RNs are qualified to address an array of medical situations and administer medications and IVs. They may direct other medical providers, technicians or volunteers.
OHCA offers a 3-day “Role of the RN” intensive training for both new and experienced long term care nurses. Learn more under “Role of the RN” here.
OHCA also offers a full day Nurse Leadership Conference training each July.
The community relations role in long term care is diverse and can address marketing, business development, sales, and communications within facilities as well as building relationships and connections with the surrounding community.
Therapists provide treatment to improve health conditions or prevent health issues. Therapists may specialize in a number of areas, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy or infusion therapy. Hospice care therapists might focus on spiritual guidance or pain management. Therapists use different methods ranging from counseling to physical exercise. Education, training and licensing requirements vary.
Dietitians focus on healthy eating and proper nutrition. They prepare meal plans, offer nutritional guidance and oversee meal service or diet programs. Dietitians typically have at least a bachelor’s degree. Education, training and licensing requirements vary.
Life Enrichment and Activities Director
Long term care communities are not limited to medical professionals. A number of roles focus on social well-being and quality of life. Life enrichment and activities directors oversee events and activities in various communities. On-site opportunities may include entertainment, education and social interaction with other care recipients. External events can range from shopping to religious services.
If you would like to become a licensed activity director, please consider taking OHCA’s self-paced, home study training.
OHCA also offers an annual full day training for life enrichment and activities directors.
Social Services Director/Social Worker
A social worker in a long term care community interviews center patients and their families and primarily is responsible for providing family crisis intervention and assisting families in understanding the implications and complexities of the medical or social situation and its impact on lifestyle. This kind of position requires a master’s degree in social work and 2-4 years of experience in the field or in a related area.