by Lori Porter, NAHCA Contributor

What’s my value? What am I worth. What are you worth? Chances are you’re worth far more than you ever thought you were. I never thought I was worth much. I was JUST a nurse’s aide. And then along the way I met JUST housekeepers, JUST maintenance and JUST helping hands. And depending on the setting where there’s a higher up, everybody becomes a ‘just’. I’m JUST the administrator. That’s what your administrator feels when they’re out at the corporate office or among their peers, I’m JUST the administrator. I’m not the owner. I’m not the board member, I’m JUST the administrator. Who in the world put ‘just’ before names?

You did. I did. Back in the day when I was JUST a CNA. Nobody put that on my name tag. It wasn’t on the job description. No one said, all you can be is a ‘just’. Let’s be anything and everything we can be. No one is going to believe in us unless we believe in ourselves. 

An organizational chart is a chain of command. It’s not WHO is important. It’s not WHO is most valuable. It’s WHO is most accountable and most responsible. Because when something goes bad, it will be the administrator, in your case in a nursing home, or your director in an assisted living, or your manager in home health or hospice. But that doesn’t mean they’re the most valuable. It means they are the most accountable. We all have equal value in this profession.

So always be ready. Always know and understand your value, and you can’t make the leap from no value to value, and I can’t in this blog give you the way the roadmap from value to value, but I can tell you this… No one will spoon feed it to you, your level of responsibility for signing up to provide maintenance or direct patient care or activities or social or administration clinical. Regardless, you took and accepted the position and now it is you who should become the best at it, because people’s lives are hanging in the balance. With all of us in this profession, too many lives depend on you and I. Knowing what our value is and living to our full potential. Our full potential is when we’re happy and professional and at the top of our game in every area.