Dr. John M. Gillis Memorial Lodge is a nursing and community care facility with 81 beds. The Lodge was started in 1987 and officially opened the following year. It is a 24-hour, seven days a week operation.
“We are one of the largest rural employers in the Southern Kings and Queens county area,” says owner Douglas MacKenzie.
“We expanded five years ago from 62 beds to 81 beds, which resulted in hiring more nursing staff. We now have a new designated secured state-of-the art Alzheimer’s unit, a palliative care room, a new bathing system, a modern nursing station, and a renovated kitchen.”
The company plans to expand to include 19 new beds by the spring or summer of 2017, depending on how quickly the new units can be completed.
Future hiring needs
The construction of new units will result in 19 new hires in the following departments:
- 15 Resident Care Worker positions
- Two Resident Care Assistant positions
- One Housekeeping position
- One Laundry Personnel position
Staff profile and turn-over rate
Over 100 people are presently employed. “The employees range from 16 to retirement age,” says Douglas. “During the summer we hire more students, and we also have students working part-time, year round. Staff turnover is very low.”
- Registered Nurses
- Clinical Nurse
- Licensed Practical Nurses
- Resident Care Workers
- Resident Care Assistants
- Kitchen staff
- Licensed Chef
- Recreation Director
- Laundry Personnel
“We offer a very competitive wage in-line with other nursing and community care facilities.”
Education and training required
Educational requirements depend on the position. Resident Care Assistants are often hired while in high school and therefore do not require a high school diploma. However, a high school diploma is encouraged. The person must be 16 years or older. Training is provided.
“Qualifications required depend on the position the person is applying for. Resident Care Assistants do not need to be certified. All other positions require the proper academic requirements, training and experience.”
The positions include full-time, part-time and casual.
There is a lunch room, ample parking, and wheelchair accessibility.
“The Lodge has a gym for the staff because we consider it important for the staff’s physical fitness and wellbeing.”
It’s a physically demanding workplace. Employees are standing and walking for extended periods of time. Some employees are required to do heavy lifting.
Dr. John M. Gillis Memorial Lodge staff and residents are very active within the community. The Lodge staff transport residents to concerts and events in the community. As well, staff members attend and contribute to fundraising events in any way they can.
The community is involved with the Lodge as well. People volunteer to spend time with the residents.
Hiring is on-going as needed. “We have students working part-time with us year-round. We hire more students during the summer.”
Hiring is most often done by word of mouth and advertising in local newspapers.
Most difficult job to fill
Resident Care Worker is the most difficult job to fill.
Best way to get your foot in the door
“It depends on the position,” says Douglas. “We are definitely a community-oriented workplace so we tend to try to hire from within the community.
Word-of-mouth is another way to get your foot in the door. When we are hiring, sometimes staff will tell us that they would like to recommend a neighbor, a friend or a relative.”
Apply in person with a resumé.
Douglas MacKenzie, Kathy Wilson-Taylor, Administrator, and Jennifer Penny, Director of Nursing are involved in the interviewing and hiring process.
“The hiring process depends on the position. If a person comes by with a resumé and we are looking for someone in that particular field at that time, we might interview them right then. Or we might call the person and schedule an interview time.
“We check references and certifications. Experience is an important asset when applying for any of the positions, except for Resident Care Assistants.”
Terms of initial employment
“We have a probationary period for all staff.”
“Some of the high school students who started with us as Resident Care Assistants are becoming RNs. They leave us for a while to pursue a nursing degree and then return. Some have been with us since the beginning. It’s unique that some students who started with us at 16 years old as are now Registered Nurses and have returned to work with us.”
For more information, contact Douglas MacKenzie at 902-659-2337.