Monday, September 12, 2011


I started to go through the “Q” section in the dictionary to find a topic for this week’s meme, but after rejecting Qaddafi and Q-fever, my hand flew to my forehead.
  ...  Q …    Duh!  My professional title is QMRP!

It is often simply referred to as “Q”.

It’s an acronym for Qualified Mental Retardation Professional.

A QMRP is a person who has had at least one year of experience working directly with persons who have mental retardation or other developmental disabilities AND who holds at least a bachelor degree in a professional category.

 I have a Bachelor of Social Work degree and prior to obtaining the degree, worked 28 years in a state institution for persons who have mental retardation.

Currently, I work for a company that has 18 group homes categorized as Intermediate Care Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled (ICF/DD). It is a federal regulation that for each facility “Each client’s active treatment program must be integrated, coordinated and monitored by Qualified Mental Retardation Professional” Tag W159       So, what I actually do is oversee four group homes for persons with developmental disabilities. Each home has 6 clients, and all have profound mental retardation, physical disabilities and chronic medical conditions.

Each client has an ISP or individual service plan, which is similar to individual educational plans that some school kids have. I am responsible for writing up these program reports every six months and following up on consultant recommendations. Each person has objectives that they are to work on and the  staff who take direct care of the clients document this on the data sheets that I create each month. And, at the beginning of each month, I write up monthly assessments of how the person did and  include other pertinent information from the previous month.

I am responsible for supplying clothing, shoes and any other personal needs for each person. Every client receives monthly funding for these needs. I carry company credit cards, and after submitting  a requisition, shop for the needed items. Technically, the client should shop with me or other staff, but that is not always realistic.

It is my responsibility to ensure that each client is properly groomed and cared for, and to follow up on any injury that occurs. I am always on the alert for possible abuse. (Thankfully, that has not happened!)

I am responsible for ensuring that the RN is doing her job and to make sure that the clients attend their prescribed medical appointments and  receive their routine lab work.

During the week, the clients attend day programs,which are geared for their needs. Not everyone attends the same facility and they are scattered between several cities. I am supposed to visit these day programs at least twice a month. Currently, there are seven different facilities that my 24 clients attend and they span 47 miles so I don’t always get in the fourteen visits.

I am also responsible for ensuring that each household has the supplies to run efficiently-bedding, towels, dishes, food processors (Puree and chopped diets) microwave ovens, etc. I shop for these as needed.

Each home has a licensing- required emergency food supply for 8 persons for 3 days. I have to check to make sure the menued food has not expired and that the 24 gallons of bottled water are routinely rotated. I shop for these item on an as needed basis.

Regular groceries and some medications are provided by outside vendors but sometimes I will have to purchase certain items if they run out or the pharmacy does not supply the medication.

Every week, I go into the main office and do payroll. You see, I'm also the administrator of these four homes so oversee the staff as well. This is the hardest part of my job and sometimes I become very frustrated. There is ’round the clock staffing because the clients are never to be left alone. Many of my staff do not have a good work ethic and can’t seem to understand the need for promptness or to show up when scheduled. Many seem to be lacking in common sense.

The staff makes just a bit over minimum wage and don’t require previous experience. Most of them speak English as a second language and often have communication problems. The next biggest group is very young women who already have children and no husband. Mainly, their biggest problems are child care and transportation problems.

I am on call 24/7 and I get calls- any time day or night, days off and holidays. I am salaried and my schedule is very flexible, however, when I get a late night or early morning phone call, I cannot go back to sleep so often have a lot of fatigue.

Every month I'm supposed to make rounds of the houses during the night shift. Doing this always upsets my body schedule and leaves me tired for a few days. Sometimes, if too much is going on during the month, I just skip the “NOC checks.”

There are 4 other QMRP’s in the company I work for and they cover an additional 14 homes. We often work together for staffing and use of the facilities vans. We have a management meeting each month, along with the executive director, Quality assurance staff person and the RN’s for each home. I enjoy these meetings and we even get lunch!

Each year, state licensing pays a two or three day visit and goes through everything with a fine tooth comb. I try to run my homes to be ready at all times- to always do things the right way. NOT EASY! I've already had 3 surveys this year and the fourth one is pending within the next 6 weeks. They could show up at anytime, but no one knows when.

As you can see, my job is one that has a lot of responsibilities. I’ve always prided myself in being a good worker and doing EVERYTHING that I’m suppose to do. But a few months ago, I was getting stressed out because I was attempting to cram it all in. Oftentimes, things come up that are not on my “agenda” so it sets me back or the plans for the day have been complete revised.  At the time, I was  always cranky and not very nice and I disliked the job that I once loved. I did not like what I had become. It was then that I realized that I cannot do it all. (When compared to the other Q’s, they did not do nearly as much as I did and it was okay)  So now, my mind set is that I will do the best I can each day, but not try to cram so many tasks into the day. I feel much better and the load is easier, but it's still a constant reminder... I am not "Super-Q."


  1. So glad you've found a way to at least somewhat manage your load. It really does seem that your bosses have put too much on you. I enjoyed learning a little more about your job.

  2. I'm impressed and grateful you are out there working so hard.

  3. Wow! You are so busy! I don't know how you manage it all. But I've known for some time now how amazing you are. In my book you will always be a superhero!

  4. Sounds like hard, but fascinating, work. Praying for you. Thanks for filling me in on your job!

  5. Wow! That's a lot of responsibility. I, too, enjoyed learning more about your job. I also learned I should be praying more for our Qualified Mental Retardation Professional. They carry a huge load.

  6. Oh, my goodness, Barb--you ARE a super Q!!! I loved getting a glimpse into your world. Talk about a load of responsibility!!! wow.

    One question about the R in the acronym--I was surprised to hear the word "retardation"--I thought it was "politically incorrect" and not the term we were supposed to use. Is this still the term the medical field uses, and can you offer any additional insights?

    Love You,

  7. Good question, Lisa. Mental Retardation is a medical diagnosis. What is p.i.c. is to refer to someone as a "retard" or to use the word in jest.

    We've been taught to refer to the disability of mental retardation, which occurs prior to the age of 18, as "Developmental Disability". However, that label also covers autism, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy. People can have the other disorders without having mental retardation.

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  9. Wow, Barb. I have gathered bits and pieces about your job in some of your posts, but enjoyed reading more about it. That is a *huge* responsibility. God bless you for your caring and concern to do a great job. But I'm also glad you've lightened up on yourself and are less stressed / enjoying your job more again!

  10. Barb,
    We have only had one meeting, but we already miss you at the CVCC AWF. See you're not the only one with alot of initials. Thanks for a well written post. I now have a better sense of what you do for work. Blessings to you

  11. Thank you for sharing what all you do, Barb. It is amazing. I sure wish my daughter worked with you. You would LOVE her and she would LOVE you:)

  12. Very interesting job (and title)! Thank you for sharing it with us.
    BTW, I almost went through the Q section of the dictionary, too!

  13. God BLESS you in this work! Not everyone can do this, but He equips those He calls. You're making a difference!

  14. What a ministry you have. I had no idea it encompassed so much, Barb. I stand in awe of your leadership qualities as well as your Christian testimony. I can see where being on call 24/7 would make anyone on edge but knowing you as I do, your feet are firmly planted in God's Word and you draw your needed strength every day from your Savior. God bless you, my friend!


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