Seeking treatment for substance abuse can be a stressful experience; many people aren’t sure where to turn. To help, facilities often hire admissions representatives to answer questions and direct callers to the appropriate services. In many cases, the representative is responsible for initiating the alcohol and drug rehab admissions process.
What Does an Admissions Representative Do?
When someone calls into a treatment center, the admissions representative is usually the person who answers the phone. This person has a critical role within the organization — they speak to family members, health care professionals and people in crisis and help them settle on a course of action. Since every treatment center is different, the admissions representative measures the potential client’s needs against the facility’s offerings to see if it’s the right fit.
Once a client decides to enter treatment, the admissions representative facilitates the next steps. This might include verifying insurance coverage, collecting personal information and scheduling the admission. When the person arrives, they typically handle paperwork and coordinate the process. Depending on the facility, the representative might also conduct tours and manage records.
Certification Requirements for Drug Rehab Admissions Representatives
Admissions representative jobs don’t usually require a specific certification. Instead, these professionals need an in-depth understanding of the treatment center’s services. They must also have significant knowledge of different substance abuse and mental health conditions; this information enables them to help each caller.
In many cases, admissions representatives have a personal connection to substance abuse. They may be in recovery themselves or have experience with a loved one’s addiction and recovery. This firsthand insight enables the representative to understand what families and people who need help are going through, so they can often provide empathetic assistance.
Admissions Representative Career Ladder
The career ladder for an admissions representative depends on the size and structure of the treatment center. Some organizations have both junior and senior positions. In larger facilities, individual representatives typically report to an admissions manager or director. These professionals are responsible for standardizing the admissions process, giving final approval to new clients and overseeing the admissions team. Senior roles typically work to improve the admissions’ system over time; they also handle reporting.
Day in the Life of an Admissions Representative
On a day-to-day basis, admissions representatives spend a great deal of time on the phone. They answer questions about the facility, treatment costs and the expected timeline. When there are no beds, or if the treatment center doesn’t offer the required services, they may provide referrals to other locations.
When a representative isn’t answering calls, they’re typically coordinating admissions. This process might involve speaking to a transportation service to arrange an airport pickup, setting up a claim with the new client’s insurance company or meeting with intake counselors to schedule the initial assessment. At the same time, representatives monitor the wait list and keep track of the intake calendar to ensure everyone arrives as planned.
On days when a new client is checking in, the admissions representative often serves as the welcoming committee. They may provide a quick introduction to the facility and ensure the client fills out all the necessary forms.
Rewarding Aspects of an Admissions Representative Job
A rehab admissions agent job offers an opportunity to help people who are in frightening situations. Callers are often in crisis or worried about their family members; the admissions representative is a source of hope. They have the power to calm callers and reassure them that help is available. This aspect of the job can be particularly rewarding for people who desire to make a difference in the lives of others.
Challenges of an Admissions Representative Position
Calls to treatment centers are often motivated by pain and fear. Since admissions representatives are the first point of contact, they must deal with those intense emotions on a daily basis. This process can be draining, so representatives must learn to empathize without internalizing callers’ feelings.
Admissions Representative Job Outlook
The high addiction rates in the United States suggest an ongoing need for treatment centers, which means the number of admissions representative jobs is likely to grow. In 2020, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that 40.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder. An even higher number of people were in need of substance use treatment — 41.1 million people.
The treatment industry is growing to accommodate this need. As of 2020, there were more than 15,000 treatment centers in the United States. That number is expected to grow by 5.2% each year until 2025. Since each new facility requires admissions representatives, you can expect to see a steady flow of new job openings.
Is an Admissions Representative Job the Right Fit for You?
If you’re considering a career in the drug and alcohol treatment industry, an admissions representative job might be a fulfilling option. Some of the factors that affect your success include:
- Empathy: Admissions representatives spend much of their time talking to people in difficult situations. Empathy and compassion can help you navigate these conversations gracefully.
- Professional communication: Communication makes up the bulk of an admissions representative’s job. If you’re not answering the phone, you’re probably managing patient admissions or talking to treatment professionals. You must be able to communicate clearly, calmly and professionally at all times.
- Organization: At any given time, treatment centers have clients in various stages of the admissions process. Representatives must be able to keep track of each person’s status and paperwork.
- Attention to detail: The phone rep for an addiction center is often responsible for collecting accurate information and working with insurance companies. A keen eye for detail helps you track relevant details, maintain records and ensure each stakeholder is informed.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, FHE Health is here to help. Call us today to speak to one of our admissions representatives. Our team is available around the clock to discuss your needs and help you find the right rehab services.