The energy in Jamie Taphorn’s voice bubbled up through the phone. Currently an administrator-in-training at Fletcher Health and Rehabilitation Center in Tampa, Florida, Taphorn already displays an inspiring passion and the promise of a fruitful career in the senior health care industry.
“I have always wanted to be an administrator of a nursing home, and I’m inspired by all of the staff, and I have an incredible passion for seniors, and I want to try to make everyday a great day for them and for the staff,” she explained. Her motivation to come to work each day is relatively simple on the surface: “It’s knowing that I have the opportunity to work with our residents and make Fletcher the best place for them to be in rehab or the best place for them to live as one of our long-term care residents.”
Taphorn’s lifelong passion for senior health care has driven her career thus far. She started out in health care right from the get-go, working as a sales representative for home health care while working towards her Master’s of Business Administration. She earned this degree last December, and soon after, jumped into the Fletcher team. Now she’s finishing up her training at Fletcher Health and Rehab, and will apply for her boards, take the test, and become a licensed nursing home administrator. From there, Taphorn will be able to take on an assistant administrator role.
In the meantime, between juggling her job at Fletcher and her personal life, Taphorn volunteers with the Florida Health Care Association. She explained, “After I become an administrator, and continue to work up the ladder of my career over the next several years, I want to get involved in the different boards and opportunities that they have. Right now I am working with the events team [of FHCA]. . . This morning I was working at joint commission training, checking everybody in and doing on-site registration. I have a great time with them.”
Taphorn’s dedication to the field both inside and outside Fletcher’s walls bears testament to the passion she possesses for high quality senior care. Taphorn’s initiative and eagerness to learn also sets her apart. Taphorn spoke about stepping into the admissions department at Fletcher. “We unexpectedly lost our admissions director, and as the old saying goes, ‘the show must go on.’ We needed someone to step in, so I kind of put my training program on the backburner for a short period of time, and really dove headfirst into the admissions department, and just carried on my knowledge and passion for learning into that department.”
When asked about the challenges she faces each day, she explained: “My DON and I always joke that we love what we do because we never have a boring day. Because no two days are ever the same.”
For Taphorn, the role and mission is so much more than just clocking in and checking off boxes. She continued: “I think the hardest part for me—because I’m still in training—is just learning the best possible way to lead a team. I think that’s probably the thing that takes the most amount of time to learn, because anybody can memorize regulations and understand how to do charts and spreadsheets, but being the type of person that is going to motivate a team across the finish line, that’s probably the thing that takes the longest to learn.”
Fortunately, despite the challenges, Fletcher Health and Rehab has provided a supportive environment for motivated and ambitious interns and staff members like Taphorn. She explained: “The culture here at Fletcher is definitely different. We’re very much like a family. Everybody has an open-door policy, and we all believe in having fun everyday.”
Through it all, Taphorn advises anyone in this field to, “Be a sponge, and learn as much as possible, and never be too shy to ask a question.”
Taphorn emphasized the impact and importance of one dedicated Fletcher staff member in particular: “Ms. Glen,” who works in the Fletcher Health and Rehab kitchen. Taphorn said, “She walks to work or takes the bus, and she is like a ray of sunshine, and every single time that she sees you, even if she sees you more than one time in a day, she always has to give you the biggest hug and the brightest smile. And no matter what is going on in her life or in the kitchen that day, that is always how she presents herself to us, to the department heads, and to the residents. She’s incredible,” Taphorn gushed. “Sometimes that hug is really what gets you through the rest of the day.”
Besides chasing after her dream of becoming a nursing home administrator, Taphorn has had her hands full with wedding planning! “I get to get married to the love of my life on November ninth,” she said. “It’s all been a whirlwind, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m ready to get started with work as soon as possible after the honeymoon. . . I really love working for Fletcher and for Consulate, and I’m just really grateful for the opportunity.”
Congratulations, Jamie! Consulate Health Care thanks you for your passionate dedication and wishes you the best!