Welcome back to the IHPS blog! If you’re new here, hello and welcome! This month our focus is on looking behind-the-scenes at what makes In Home Personal Services a place where people want to work. We are getting a glimpse of the culture of the company and the work day of various positions. This week we’re taking a journey into the life of Susan McCoy, Director of Operations at IHPS.
As the director of operations Susan oversees the directors in the field who manage live-in, hourly, and various cases throughout retirement communities and within private homes. “I am often the first point-of-contact concerning new business,” Susan says. “Whether it be a family member of a potential client or a management level peer in a community or skilled facility.”
Being the director of operations means that there are many situations, across different departments, that could require Susan’s attention. To see how Susan goes about managing the daily expected (and unexpected) duties, we asked her to walk us through a typical day.
Typical Work Day – In Her Own Words
I do not have a typical work day…so much of what I do varies depending on new business that comes in or a crisis that needs resolving.
Typically, my phone starts ringing around 8am with either concerns from directors or clients. I do answer my phone after-hours and address situations as they arise. I then start getting ready for work which can take a couple of hours depending on the number of calls coming in and I usually arrive at TEK (the main office) around 9:30-9:45. I try not to schedule anything prior to 10am.
I check emails and then the remainder of my day unravels dependent on the day’s business at hand. Today I had several calls from an insurance company who wanted us to care for a gentleman in DeKalb.
Step one – I had to see if we are licensed in that county.
Step two – See if we accept workman’s comp claims.
Step three – See if we have staffing to meet the demands of the case.
This process took about 6 hours in total and in between I had other calls, visits without appointments, new shifts arising, etc. When I finally processed the request for the insurance company I found out that they had already secured coverage from another agency. This is not always the way things shake out but in this case it was for naught.
I also interviewed two caregivers and staffed three overnight shifts. I typically work with all directors/team leads in the field, the placement team, billing, HR, Iris and associates from the communities in a leadership capacity. I cover for most of my team’s days off so this shakes things up, too. I write a list in the morning of what I need to get done and re-write the list at the end of that day for the next day. The list changes daily dependent on the urgency of crisis or new business. I go to other communities several times a week and so my time at TEK is hit or miss.
Because I am close to home I am able to go home for lunch sometimes to let my dog out or take my daughter to lunch during the summer. This keeps me connected at home and helps me feel like I still have a life away from the office.
When your days are as packed as Susan’s it takes some creativity to find time for yourself. She explains, “Because we carry phones 24/7 and get calls after-hours, during dinner, during movies, and when we are brushing our teeth, I take time for myself when the opportunity is presented. I come in later in the morning because my phone rings all morning whether I am at work or at-home. This way I feel I am ready to start the day and I feel good about coming in after I have had time to put on a nice outfit, get my hair done and put on make-up. I like to stay later because when the office is quiet I get more work done!”
The Importance of Time Away
No matter your job or position, it’s important to find opportunities to renew your strength, moments where you can let the stress melt away. For Susan, this includes being involved in the music scene. “When I do get time off- I like to do it up big…this summer I have seen The Whalers, Steve Miller, Tom Petty, Wilco and will see John Mellencamp in August.” Susan knows that these times away, her vacations to New York, trips to see family in Minneosta, all help her to regain focus when she is back at work. “Everyone needs to shut it off occasionally and when you properly plan and have staff coverage for yourself you can really be away and not stress.”
Yes, the hours can be long and the days may be filled to the brim with tasks to complete and people to talk to but for Susan it is completely worth it. “Without a doubt helping seniors is my passion. Working here allows me to do that, earn a living and feel good about doing it. I will not do anything that doesn’t feel right to me and I know this company backs me 100%. I trust my own instincts but knowing they trust them as well is a very big deal.”
Thank you, Susan, for taking the time to share your day with us and for all that you do at In Home Personal Services! IHPS currently has openings for CNA’s and caregivers throughout Chicago and its suburbs; Rockford, IL; Arlington, TX; and Melbourne, FL. If you or someone you know is interested in building relationships and helping seniors maintain their independence then visit us at https://ihps.com/careers/jobs/. We look forward to working with you!