Karin Himstedt

Kent State University

Summer 2016

“By observing all departments and by engaging in their activities I not only gained an appreciation for the efforts of employees, but I also realized the value of their contributions to a smoothly running, long-term-care organization.”

During spring 2016 and summer 2016 I absolved my Administrator-in-Training practicum at a large skilled nursing facility in the Canton-Akron area.

During my practicum I did not just focus on a project but I was exposed to all functions and departments of a long-term-care facility, ranging from activities, housekeeping, dietary, and laundry, to social services, admissions, marketing, business, and nursing.

By observing all departments and by engaging in their activities I not only gained an appreciation for the efforts of employees, but I also realized the value of their contributions to a smoothly running, long-term-care organization: the washer who sorts soiled laundry and begins its cleaning and sanitation process at 3 a.m. is just as critical to the organization as the nurse who monitors a resident’s well-being, as well as the nurse aide, who assists the resident with those tasks they cannot do for themselves anymore.

I also learned that passion for high-quality person centered care must be accompanied by a keen sense of business practices. Only when a long-term-care facility is also fiscally successful and sustainable will it be able to provide high-quality care for its residents, as well as a place of employment for its workforce. An administrator is required to seek a healthy and suitable balance of all these aspects.

I very much value that this practical, hands-on learning was accompanied by the OAGE Summer Scholarship program. I have gained from the deeper and broader insight into elder care in the State of Ohio and the many, many resources that are available. And, contrary to popular opinion, throughout these experiences I have found that people everywhere, who are involved in elder issues, care passionately and deeply about elders, their families, and their aging experience!