Shady Knoll Administrator Says Happy Staff Means Successful Nursing Home
March 13th – March 17th recognizes Long-Term Care Administrators Week. At Athena Health Care Systems, we thank our administrators for their hard work and dedication in delivering high-quality care and customer service to our residents, families and staff through the use of our best practices. Meet some of the administrators in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island as we highlight them throughout the week and the work they do day in and day out. Thank you for your dedication.
SEYMOUR, C.T. — Shady Knoll Health Center Administrator Elza Augustin said the key to running a successful nursing facility is keeping staff happy.
Augustin joined the Seymour center as Administrator in January 2022 after serving in the same role at another skilled nursing facility prior.
“What I love about being an administrator is the fact I get to make a difference. I get to advocate for the residents,” Augustin says. “I always tell my staff, when I see the residents, I see my parents. So that same expectation I would want for my parents, I would want for my residents here.”
At Shady Knoll, she said she has a good team of department heads including her Director of Nursing Services Diane Azeez. That’s what she attributes to being a good administrator. Leading a skilled nursing facility requires a strong person in charge. Augustin takes on that responsibility but adds you will never see the stress on her face. She said it helps that Athena invests in their people and, in return, staff provides quality care.
As an administrator in a skilled nursing facility, one of the goals is to want to make sure the men and women employed at her center are happy. It’s a domino effect… when they’re happy, residents are happy. She said the staff needs someone at the top who understands them and will be there to offer support.
“The mission is for me to be able to provide an environment where families can feel like, ‘I am leaving my loved one in the hands of people who truly care.’ And in turn, I want the residents to feel like, ‘I feel like I belong, I feel like I’m being heard, I feel like I’m being respected.’ For staff, ‘I’m being appreciated at work,’” Augustin says.
It was a desire to be a patient advocate that first motivated her to pursue her administrator certificate as she saw a lack of compassion in the industry. Her staff and residents now motivate her. She explains how she wants to work with people who care.
In her role as administrator, she often does job interviews for nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants because she has expectations at her facility for patient care. She emphasizes to her team to put the same energy into resident care that she gives to them.
“I say to [my staff] all the time, ‘You don’t provide care because Elza is watching, because you want to prove you are a good employee… you provide care because whatever you sew today, you’re going to reap it later,” she said.
Augustin is originally from Haiti and moved to the States when she was 10 years old. She is married with four children. She attended undergraduate school at the University of New Haven, received her master’s from Walden University in Minnesota, and got her Long-Term Care Administrator Certificate from the College of New Rochelle in 2017.