Category / Careers

4 LinkedIn Features to Power Your 2020 Job Search

January 21, 2020

They'll help you learn about openings and pay and let you stand out
By Nancy Collamer

If you’ve resolved to find a job in 2020, I think you’ll want to know about four features LinkedIn rolled out over the past two years that might help you land one. They’re available to all LinkedIn users, so you don’t need to pay for a LinkedIn Premium membership (about $48 to $65 a month) to enjoy them.

I’ll detail the features in a just moment. But first, a reminder that before making any updates to your LinkedIn Profile, and I mean any, be sure to turn off the notifications LinkedIn sends to your network. You don’t want to mistakenly alert your employer that you’re in job search mode or unnecessarily annoy your friends.

To silence those pesky LinkedIn notifications:

  1. Go to your LinkedIn home page and click on your Me photo icon
  2. Under the Account Tab, select Settings & Privacy 
  3. On the Settings page, scroll down to How others see your LinkedIn activity section
  4. Click on Share job changes, education changes, and work anniversaries and then toggle the Yes/No button to No

When you do want others to see your LinkedIn notifications, toggle back to Yes.

This tool can help you find employers that pay well — and gear up to negotiate a great starting salary.

Now, here are details on the four LinkedIn features that can help power your job search this year:

1. LinkedIn Pages (formerly known as LinkedIn Company Pages) In late 2018, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Pages, a terrific feature that can help you learn about millions of potential employers — and connect easily to their jobs. The refreshed Pages hold a treasure trove of information for job seekers, including salary data, funding and investor news, links to videos and more.

Two especially helpful features on LinkedIn Pages:

  • Job alerts: If you’re interested in a particular company, nonprofit or government agency, sign up for its job alerts (you’ll find the Job Alert button when you click on the Jobs Tab in the left-hand column of the employer’s page). As a bonus, when you set an alert, LinkedIn will let its recruiters know you’re interested in job opportunities, which might increase your chances of hearing directly from employers when they are hiring.
  • Follow button: You can receive automatic updates from prospective employers in your LinkedIn feed by clicking on their  “Follow” button. That information can prove invaluable when networking, prepping for interviews or deciding if an employer is a good fit for you.

2. Customize your LinkedIn news feed with #hashtags LinkedIn now gives you the ability to follow #hashtags in your LinkedIn news feed. So, for example, if you’re interested in shifting into the green space, you can follow hashtags for #sustainability or #greenjobs. It’s a great way to diversify your feed to include stories about where you want to head, as opposed to simply where you’ve been.

To follow #hashtags, input the term you want to follow (preceded by the # symbol) in the main LinkedIn search bar. Then, click on the Follow button to get automatic updates in your feed.

3. Salary Insights Tool I reviewed this tool when it was introduced in 2016 (under the name LinkedIn Salary) and found it lacking. But I’m happy to report that following an overhaul in early 2018, it’s now greatly improved. Salary Insights provides a detailed breakdown of salaries by job title and location. The data comes from salary ranges provided by employers. But if an employer hasn’t provided salary information, LinkedIn shows an estimated range based on member-submitted data.

You can see how salaries differ from employer to employer. You’ll also find salary insights parsed by region, years of experience, industry focus and company size, among other filters. It’s a lot of data to digest, and like other salary research tools, not every job title is represented. But this tool can help you find employers that pay well — and gear up to negotiate a great starting salary.

To see this tool in action, go to the LinkedIn Salary page and input your desired job title and location in the search bar labeled “Discover your earning potential.”

4. LinkedIn Skills Assessments  Finally, I want to close with a LinkedIn feature that is still being refined and not yet available to all users but looks promising enough to merit a mention. In September 2019, LinkedIn rolled out LinkedIn Skills Assessments — 15 to 20 timed multiple-choice questions about particular skills. If you pass the test because of your skills, you get to display a verified skill badge on your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t, your results will stay private.

By being able to verify your skills, you can better stand out from the job-hunting pack and become more discoverable to opportunities. According to LinkedIn, preliminary results show that candidates who completed LinkedIn Skill Assessments were about 30% more likely to get hired than those who didn’t.

Currently, LinkedIn offers skills assessments in tech, business and design, with plans to expand into other areas (if available, you’ll find them in the skills section of your LinkedIn Profile).

Regardless of your Skills Assessment results, LinkedIn will tell you how you did on its test and unlock relevant free LinkedIn Learning courses for a limited time period (a benefit that’s normally reserved for Premium members).

Good luck in your 2020 job search!

By Nancy Collamer

Nancy Collamer, M.S., is a semi-retirement coach, speaker and author of Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions During Semi-Retirement. You can now download her free workbook called 25 Ways to Help You Identify Your Ideal Second Act on her website at MyLifestyleCareer.com (and you'll also receive her free bi-monthly newsletter).

 

Understanding the “Why”

December 19, 2019

by Taylor McMahon, nurse navigator and educator, Oakmont campus

I take my roles as nurse navigator and educator very seriously. I promote quality of life for our residents, and that comes in many variations, but mostly through early identification of individuals at the highest risk for readmission, those who need help with medication management and those who need education about their condition. My dual role is an essential piece to getting our residents back to their home, feeling in control and staying out of the hospital.

Patients with COPD have a higher risk of returning to the hospital. So when I had a short-term rehabilitation patient with COPD who did not understand her medications or why adhering to a medication routine was essential, I got to put my navigator and educator skills to good use.

I sat with her and we talked about her current knowledge of COPD. I’ve discovered that I am most successful when I understand what the patient understands about their condition. It is important to explore knowledge gaps so that education can be tailored to each patient.

In this patient’s case, we discovered that she was not using her inhalers the correct way, and was only using them on days she didn’t feel well.

After using the teach back method, she was able to demonstrate the correct way to use her inhalers, and understand the “why” of adhering to a medication routine.

She could tell me why she needed to take her medications exactly as the doctor ordered, and how those medications were helping her lungs. She felt empowered and was much more willing to take the steps to manage her condition. All it took was getting to know her and assessing her base of knowledge.

As part of the navigator role, I follow an extensive evidenced-based checklist to ensure that we do everything we can for a safe discharge. Making the follow-up doctor appointment, medication reconciliation, follow-up phone calls and talking to the home health provider for a smooth hand-off are just a few of the steps I take.

As I was helping my patient prepare for discharge, I was so proud when she told me that I gave her back control of her life. The role of navigator and educator has made such a difference at The Willows, our skilled nursing center. This is my “why.”

Detective Work Serves as Bridge to Care

December 3, 2019

by Pam Policz, nurse navigator, Washington campus

I am a detective. I get to dig deep to learn about each individual. I love learning about my patients and what they hope to get out of their stay with us.

This is my dream job. I get to spend time with our short-term rehabilitation patients to learn more about their healthcare needs and goals. It’s gratifying to become a consistent support and player in their overall care plan.

Helping individuals navigate their care options isn’t just about nursing, or the medical part of the journey. We have a whole team – everyone from dietitians to housekeepers – who play a role in the care experience. I am so honored to be part of the care team, and wouldn’t be able to do my work without my teammates, who make up the backbone of my work.

Together with my team, we build the bridge between healthcare and hospitality, ensuring that the needs of the whole person are met. And that can be anything from helping them to understand their medication to checking in with them to see when they want their room cleaned. It’s everything that we do as a team.

Building the “bridge” is the best part of my work. Once I receive a new patient, I start examining the newcomer’s history, lab results and what brought them to short-term rehab.

I live for the moments I get to spend with each patient. When someone is with us for a short stay, it is often because something has changed in their life. Maybe they’ve just had open heart surgery and need to recover, or maybe they are learning how to manage their COPD.

Regardless, it is my job to get to know them so that we can individualize their care and educate them on their condition so that they can go home feeling empowered.

It is my personal mission to help our patients recover. I help them understand what it takes to get better, show them that I am invested in their care. And when their eyes light up just knowing that they have a support system, I know I’ve done my job well and that I am a visible difference in their lives.

My Second Act: Starting a Newsletter

October 30, 2019

Financial journalist Vera Gibbons on her risks and rewards launching it
By Kerry Hannon

It’s 7 a.m., and, like clockwork, the Nonpolitical News digital newsletter lands in my email inbox. I’m a subscriber.

After slogging through my daily morning news reading — mostly from national media outlets and my Twitter feed — this free newsletter is a breath of fresh air. It’s filled with short, breezy news highlights and stuffed with links to “some need-to-know news, some nice-to-know and some ‘who knew?” as Vera Gibbons, the second-act founder and editor of NonPoliticalNews.com (NoPo) described it to me in an interview.

The 52-year-old TV financial journalist launched NoPo newsletter —“for those who are sick and tired of the political headlines” she told me — last year because she felt she needed to make a career switch.

“There came a point when the political climate became so relevant, and that’s all anybody was covering (on TV). My air time got slashed by fifty percent. I was at a crossroads,” she said. “I don’t talk politics. They really only wanted political people on air either pro or con. It was, ‘Well, I’m going to have to do something different, if I want to keep working. I’ve been in the news business forever. So, it was a logical next step for me.”

I know news. I love the news. To transfer my skills over was a slam dunk. It was an easy transition.

Gibbons is a former financial contributor to CBS’ The Early Show and has worked as a correspondent for CNBC’s High Net Worth and MSNBC. She still appears on national news networks and writes freelance articles.

Risks and Rewards of a Midlife Career Change

Gibbons told me she’s well aware of the risks and challenges of a midlife career change. But she was frustrated by the changing news business and looking for a way to remain relevant in a field she’s passionate about.

Each of the newsletter’s sections — Consumer/Personal Finance, Health/Wellness, Fashion/Beauty and Fitness/Diet — has five to seven links to the latest news ranging from, say, Walmart unveiling a rewards credit card to how to find the perfect workout for your personality.

Gibbons is fortunate. She’s a saver and built up enough of a financial cushion to take a leap of faith and self-fund her venture. Meantime, she has enough freelance business on the side to help pay some bills while building the newsletter to the point where she can pay herself.

Here are excerpts from my conversation with Vera Gibbons about starting a newsletter business as a second act in midlife:

Kerry Hannon: There seems to be plenty of competition in the newsletter arena, particularly The Skimm, the current-events newsletter for millennial women. Who is your target audience?

Vera Gibbons: My audience, which is now twenty-five thousand subscribers from New York to Dubai to Hong Kong and Los Angeles, is more for my age — for Skimm parents, if you will. They are smart, educated, sophisticated and many are news junkies like me.

Another differentiator: They’re explaining the news; I’m exposing it — all the stuff that isn’t getting covered due to the heavy political coverage.

I often say about second acts that you’re not reinventing yourself, but often redeploying skills from your previous career. How is that true with your experience?

That is so true for me. I know news. I love the news. To transfer my skills over was a slam dunk. It was an easy transition.

Who do you consider your competitors?

There are lots of other newsletters out there. We are the only ones doing nonpolitical news only. I do like Morning Brew and read that regularly just to see what they’re up to. I also read Market Snacks, but they, like the others, are explainers. Then there are explainers like The New York Times, CNN, Huff Po;  but they only use their own stories, of course.

What have you learned trying to start a newsletter in midlife? What’s been your biggest challenge?

I’ve learned the importance of having a team as dedicated as you are to the service.

The biggest challenge has been finding the right people to have on my team. You really need people as devoted and committed as you are. We only have news junkies helping us out who are crazy and spirited and love news as much as I do.

They’re volunteering their time at this stage. They provide a lot of the stories over the course of the day. I get up between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. to curate what they have given me, and I turn the TV on to see if there’s anything that’s more relevant.

I’m trying not to bite off more than I can chew. Now people are saying ‘You need a podcast.’ I’m focused on doing one thing, and doing it very well.

And what have been the rewards of becoming an entrepreneur in midlife?

At this stage in my career, I know the news business and have a network of people who trust my judgment. I have television news show bookers and producers and anchors opening the newsletter every single day. They know I’m a reliable source. The biggest reward is seeing the growth of the product.

Getting the thumbs up from subscribers means the world to me.

What’s your advice to others who want to launch a start up at this stage in their lives?

Go slowly. You have to test the waters and see if there’s a market.

I started on Facebook, posting items as updates. It was almost a hobby at first. And I kept getting more and more Likes, and people saying I should really do more with it.

I began solo, but currently have a team of six, who all work remotely. I work out of my home office, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

What’s a ballpark figure for what you’ve invested in your venture?

I’ve invested probably fifty thousand dollars of my own money and have been bootstrapping up to this point.

The legal fees are the most expensive. Trademark searches alone were about ten thousand dollars. My next big expense is my techie, who is on retainer. He handles delivery issues, website, design, promotions and hosting.

I do have venture capital firms calling and have met with potential investors. But for now, I would like to focus on the growth of newsletter. Taking on investors is a different ballpark. Now I have control of the content and can put in the stories I want.

When do you expect to be able to pay yourself?

Hopefully in 2020.

By Kerry Hannon

Kerry Hannon is the author of Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life. She  has covered personal finance, retirement and careers for The New York Times, Forbes, Money, U.S. News & World Report and USA Today, among other publications. She is the author of a dozen books including Money Confidence: Really Smart Financial Moves for Newly Single Women and What's Next? Finding Your Passion and Your Dream Job in Your Forties, Fifties and Beyond. Her website is kerryhannon.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerryhannon.

Balancing Your Career and Your Aging Parents

September 17, 2019

Advice for women from "Working Daughter" author Liz O'Donnell
By Richard Eisenberg

It often isn’t easy to balance holding down a paying job and being a part-time caregiver for a parent. In a new Home Instead survey of 1,100 employed people who also care for a parent or in-law, 59% felt they must choose between being a good employee and a good daughter or son; that’s up from 47% in 2017. Liz O’Donnell, author of the new book Working Daughter, knows the struggle well — personally and professionally.

A Boston-based marketing executive, in recent years O’Donnell helped manage care for her late mother with ovarian cancer and her late father with Alzheimer’s. In 2018, she became a caregiver for her husband, Kevin, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; he died in March 2019. These experiences led O’Donnell to write the useful book and launch the supportive, content-heavy Workingdaughter.com site and 2,291-member Working Daughter Facebook community group.

“When you go to websites that say ‘It’s a blessing to be a caregiver,’ you feel like you are the only one having terrible thoughts.”

I interviewed O’Donnell to hear what she learned from the elder care attorneys, hospice nurses and working daughters she interviewed for the book and to get her guidance for women — and men — juggling care and career:

Next Avenue: Why did you write the book?

Liz O’Donnell, author of ‘Working Daughter’

Liz O’Donnell: I was seeking help because my parents needed more and more care. I had stress insomnia and was waking up at 3 in the morning, looking in Google to find how to balance career and care. The web sources were either sickly sweet — saying things like, ‘Just convene a family meeting,’ which is fine for the perfect family, but how many of us are in one? — and the government websites said: ‘Click here for assisted living.’ I couldn’t find what I needed.

So, I started to build a working daughter website and then a Facebook group for women to ask each other questions and vent and cry. And then I wrote the book.

I wanted caregivers to know they weren’t alone and that there was help available even for people whose families weren’t perfect. And I wanted caregivers to know that it was perfectly normal to have thoughts like, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ or ‘I can’t take it.’ When you go to websites that say ‘It’s a blessing to be a caregiver,’ you feel like you are the only one having terrible thoughts.

Why is the book called Working Daughters and not Working Daughters and Sons? Women aren’t the only one balancing jobs and caregiving.

I was working full-time and caring and had to focus on what I knew. And I’d always written to a female audience. Also, I wanted to focus on issues that women face, like not earning the same salary as men due to taking off time for raising kids or scaling back hours to care for parents.

Would your advice for men be any different than what you advise women?

Some of the issues that come up are universal, like making space for your life and figuring out what matters most to you and balancing your career with that.

How difficult is it for women with paying jobs to do their work and also provide caregiving for loved ones?

It’s really challenging. I hope the more we talk about it, the easier it might become.

When you have a child, you know roughly when you will be out of work and you can set up for that time with maternity and paternity leave. You know when your child will go to preschool and for how many hours. You know what time the bus is coming, and you know when summer vacations are. With elder care, the phone could ring at work at any moment.

And there are so many factors for elder care that are different from in the past. Families are often dispersed, and people are having fewer children, so the caregiving responsibility often falls on one person.

What are the biggest challenges?

The unpredictability, and learning how to exit with grace [during the day] with all your work covered.

Another thing I hear in the working-daughter community is the mentality that caregiving has interrupted their lives and put their lives on hold. I went through that myself. One of the messages I try to share with women is we have to accept our lives as they are.

It means staying networked even if we’re not at work, so when we’re ready to go back, we’re still connected to people who can help us. And it means staying relevant, so we’re up-to-date on technology and on what’s happening in our industry, even if we’re not active in it.

Your first chapter is called ‘Accept.’ What do you mean by that?

I’m the youngest of three daughters and didn’t feel suited to be a caregiver for my parents. I had this attitude of: ‘Why me?’ Eventually, I shifted from resisting. The only way to go through the caregiving experience is to deal with it.

Another chapter is ‘Prioritize.’ What do you mean and how should women do it?

One of the things that exists in abundance in the working-daughter world is guilt. I get it. There’s always more you can be doing.

It’s important to say to yourself: ‘What are the parts of my life that really matter to me?’

Which are you going to prioritize and where are you going to glide? Don’t feel bad about stuff that takes a back seat.

How well do you think employers deal with employees who have family caregiving duties?

They want to do the right thing. Where I see it break down sometimes is at the line manager perspective. It’s important for companies to make sure caregiving policies are part of their culture and that middle managers are trained to work with employees around their care lives.

Another thing is training employees to say things like: ‘I need to leave Wednesday at three and here’s how I’m going to cover and when you can expect me back.’ As opposed to: ‘My mother’s sick. Do you mind if I leave?’

Are employers getting better at this?

Elder care benefits are on the decline, which is alarming.

What I’m hearing anecdotally from the working-daughter community runs the gamut from ‘My employer is cold-hearted and doesn’t get it’ to “I have the most amazing boss and that’s what makes it possible for me to do the caregiving.’

Do you see any reason to think employers will do better in the future for employees who are also family caregivers?

I’m hopeful.

By Richard Eisenberg

Richard Eisenberg is the Senior Web Editor of the Money & Security and Work & Purpose channels of Next Avenue and Managing Editor for the site. He is the author of How to Avoid a Mid-Life Financial Crisis and has been a personal finance editor at Money, Yahoo, Good Housekeeping, and CBS MoneyWatch. Follow him on Twitter.

Share My Story: Going Above and Beyond

September 13, 2019

We love when our team members share their stories, especially when it shows the passion of our team towards their work.

Read about Carrie Karns and why she has stayed with us for over three years.

“This past Christmas Eve I was able to adjust the schedule to send one of my team members home early, knowing that she was behind on her Christmas preparations. Since we are a small department, that left me to complete the tasks for the day. After returning from a Walmart run for supplies, I had planned to deliver the mail for the day and start my vacation early. Planning to leave at 2 pm, after several interruptions and last minute things happening, it was quickly 4 pm and I had not delivered the mail yet. I went to the main office to discover several packages and 40+ holiday cards that needed delivered. With a small sigh, I began to separate the mail by neighborhoods and started my delivery. I helped several residents open packages and had nearly all of the cards delivered when I came to the last envelope. It was a larger envelope that I could tell had pictures in it. I asked the resident if she would like me to open it and help her read it. With excitement she said, “Yes, I’ve been expecting something from my brother in California.” Upon opening the envelope, I saw a folded up piece of paper, front and back, typed in small print. It was a “year in review” from her brother’s family. I have to be 100% honest, at this point I looked at my watch…’after 5 pm?!’ was what went through my mind. As I began to read I noticed right away how much this Christmas Eve package meant to her. The letter told of their travels abroad and updates on her grandchildren. There was also a hand written note from her brother. As I read the words, so elegantly written to his beloved sister we both began to tear up. She then asked to read it again herself. I sat 10 minutes before desperately wanting to run for my car to enjoy my own Christmas Eve. I now found myself at a loss for time, not worried about MY plans and what I was late for. As I rushed to make it to Christmas Eve service I thought about how I was called to stay late that night, and how much that resident needed me for those 20 minutes. It’s moments like that which define what we do at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network and I am blessed to share my story.”

Carrie has been working at the Oil City campus for over three years as the Director of Lifestyle Engagement. She has found that one of her favorite parts of her work is building connections with the residents at Oakwood Heights.

She says, “I got very close to a resident on our Gardens neighborhood who was withdrawn and spent most of her days reading in her room or sitting in the corner of the lounge doing a puzzle. I’m not sure how, or why, but I started sitting with her every day. Sometimes it was five minutes, sometimes thirty. If a day went by that I didn’t stop over she would send a team member to check on me and make sure that I was okay. She even said to me one day, “I don’t know how we became friends, but we are.” She passed away about 8 months after we became friends. The pastor who did her service spoke about her love of puzzles and made the statement, “It’s not about the puzzles, it’s about the people.” I couldn’t agree more.”

Carrie said that she enjoys making sure that each residents feels special and appreciated by the team members at Oakwood Heights.

Like Carrie, do you have a story about Presbyterian SeniorCare Network that you would like to share? Share My Story is a fun way for team members, residents, and family members to share their personal experience about a moment with our organization that has touched their heart.

To share your story, visit www.srcare.org/moments.

Network Interns Attend LeadingAge PA Conference!

August 2, 2019

In June, Presbyterian SeniorCare Network had two interns attend the LeadingAge PA Conference. The conference is designed for professionals in long-term care to hear from industry experts, take advantage of continuous education opportunities, and more.

Kaleb Behanna and Ritu Pathak, the two interns that attended the conference, benefitted from many learning opportunities, as well as fun breakout sessions, morning meetings and networking opportunities designed to get them out of their comfort zones and ready for the long-term care industry.

Kaleb (pictured right) is an intern at the Oakmont campus in the Dementia 360 program. Kaleb is going into his second year at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a Masters in Health Administration. His undergraduate degree was earned at Penn State. Kaleb views this conference as a great help towards his career stating that the experience he gained from the speakers helped bring a new perspective to his job. He was able to network with other people in long-term care communities throughout the conference. “We got to stand outside of conference rooms and check people in, which was really cool because we spent most of the time networking and pretty much 'speed recruiting' as we let people in. I got to meet so many great people."

When asked what “speed recruiting" was, Kaleb explained that it was his way of referring to the quick conversations he had when signing people into the conferences, almost like speed dating, but for networking. Kaleb was able to talk with everyone he signed into the conference and learn about their job. This helped him create connections with professionals throughout the conference

He is enjoying his time at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network saying that the people he works with have been great! 

Ritu (pictured left) is an intern at the Washington campus working in Process Improvement. Ritu really enjoyed the LeadingAge PA conference, and appreciated the opportunity to sit in during each session after scanning attendees in for credit and getting the speakers settled in. This later allowed her to exchange ideas and views about the sessions, making memorable connections with the other conference attendees.

Ritu says that the conference helped her put herself out there, meet new people and experience firsthand the variety of new ideas and ways that process improvement could benefit long-term care.

The most valuable piece of the conference for Ritu was seeing how employee satisfaction helped culture change, retention rate, as well as improved care for the residents. “We always think of the customer first and what their needs are, but to be the best organization we possibly can, we need to ensure we are thinking of all stakeholders, caregivers and residents alike."

Ritu earned her bachelor's degree in biological sciences and is currently pursuing Masters in Health Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Post undergrad, Ritu worked for the University of Pittsburgh in collaboration with UPMC as a Liver Cancer Center research coordinator for nearly two years. Ritu enjoys working at the Presbyterian SeniorCare Network for its welcoming culture; everyone's friendly demeanor quickly made her feel a part of the team.

Thanks to Kaleb and Ritu for sharing your experiences from the LeadingAge PA Conference. We look forward to seeing what these young professionals will accomplish in their careers!

Creating New Memories Everyday

July 16, 2019

We love when our team members share their stories, especially when it shows growth within their career at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network. Read about Nicole Bichsel and why she has stayed with us for over five years!

“I wish that I could narrow things down to a particular story, but it is nearly impossible, for the story is still being written. Each new day is an amazing opportunity to make someone’s day. I am so grateful to be a part of our resident’s lives. Their life experience overshadows my own, and the lessons that I have learned from these individuals are priceless. My story has yet to reach its end, and today is another page. This is just the beginning of my story, and these beautiful people make each chapter more interesting every day.”

Nicole has been an employee with Presbyterian SeniorCare Network for five years and currently works at The Willows as a Lifestyle Engagement Assistant II.

While talking about her favorite memories with residents during her time here, she had a hard time picking just one. Nicole then explained how she tries to find a connection with all of the residents.

 “It is so hard to pick one event, but one that has really touched me is from a resident who rarely leaves her room. I visit her often, in fact even assist with her activities of daily living at times. She told me the other day that she knows when I am in the building because she can hear my laugh. She said that even though she doesn’t leave her room, she takes comfort in knowing that I am there and it makes her smile. Working with residents every day is what keeps me going, even when I am having a bad day, seeing them smile makes it all worthwhile. When I started in this position, I made it my mission to meet with every resident in my neighborhood, to get a feel for what their interests are, what they used to do for a living and what makes them happy. These wonderful people have seen it and done it all! I love hearing about their life experiences. Sometimes, a resident is difficult to connect with, but I keep trying! We all have SOMETHING in common in some way. We may not know what it is right away but eventually we get there.”

Like Nicole, do you have a story about Presbyterian SeniorCare Network that you would like to share? Share My Story is a fun way for team members, residents, and family members to share their personal experience about a moment with our organization that has touched their heart. To share your story, visit www.SrCare.org/moments.

My Neighborhood

May 15, 2019

“My time with Presbyterian SeniorCare Network has been ever evolving. I remember the day I interviewed to work here! I sat across from Kathy Hammar, who is now the Administrator here at Westminster Place. I remember how scared I was! She asked me why I wanted to work here, and I thought long and hard about my reasoning. I was inspired by my own mother who has been an RN for over 40 years! Growing up, I lived in a primarily elderly neighborhood. My parents took it upon themselves to give my brother and I exposure to our wonderful aging neighbors. I remember each of them fondly.

Here is where I gave my reasoning: I told her that I loved seniors and found them to be inspirational! My neighbor, Mr. Johnny next door, would have us over to sit on his porch until we were exhausted talking about the “good days” and when times were different. He was the kindest soul, he always called me “sweetheart.” My brother, Jonathan and I, had special permission to go into his garage and get out the extra lawn mower wheels from the shelf and race them down his hilly sidewalk on the side of his house, whenever we wanted! His neighbor, Mrs. Betty, was a lovely woman with white hair who lived alone. She was a joy and delight to talk with. She attended my birthday parties as a child. We didn’t sit too much on her porch, but she did invite me in and played piano for me. We also sat in her kitchen and talked for hours about her grandchildren and her kids. I loved listening to her speak about “the old days.” Across the street lived Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Cres. Two spunky individuals who I remember fondly. They drove a giant purple Cadillac and I don’t think she ever cooked a meal because they would invite us into their house and she always said “Let’s get you something special from the oven.” The oven was full of Lance sandwich crackers. On certain nights of the week they would be dressed in matching outfits to go square dancing! I loved seeing what outfit they would be wearing. These folks taught me a lot about life in general. And finally the last person who was the biggest influence in life, my Grammie. She played the biggest roll in raising me and I know that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her.

I have stayed at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network for 10 years because of all of the people! Fellow team members, residents and family members have made a huge impact in my life. We have a resident who I care for currently, whose daughters hug me every time they see me! That is heartwarming to me! It makes it easier to get out of bed to come to work. This is my neighborhood and these are my neighbors. I must say my most cherished memory is getting to know all of the residents who I have had the pleasure of knowing and they will meet me again one day.

Like Emily, do you have a story about Presbyterian SeniorCare Network that you would like to share? We would love to hear it! Click here to visit our web page. Once there, please click on the button, Share My Story.

Once you have submitted your story, you will automatically be entered into a random drawing to win a $50 Visa gift card! Winners will be pulled the first Monday of every month.

HELP WANTED: Must Have a Passion for Serving Seniors

May 9, 2019

Long-term care is a clinically rich career for nurses

Long-term care, isn’t that boring?” Well, imagine this. It is 3 am, and the usually quiet night shift suddenly springs an emergency on you. As the nurse, you may be challenged to make decisions that provide the best possible outcome for all of those involved. If that sounds more like the ER than long-term care, you’d be wrong.

What makes nursing in long-term care so clinically rich? We sat down with Kristin Henderson, senior director of clinical services for Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, to ask the important questions about a nursing career in long-term care.

Q: Is long-term care different than say a hospital environment?

A: If you are expecting the overhead paging system directing you to a “code” or sirens and medical professionals running down the hall with a crash cart, then yes. But in terms of the care provided, we are pretty competitive. The landscape of hospital care has changed. Before, a patient would stay in the hospital for a week or more and get most of the care they needed while in the hospital. But now, that is totally different. A patient is in the hospital for one to three days and then they discharge to a skilled nursing community like ours for short-term care. So the care that was once provided at the hospital is now provided in a long-term care setting, specifically in a rehabilitation setting. The majority of the time, nurses in long-term care are utilizing the same skills as those in the hospital. The bottom line is the skill set required to be a successful long-term care nurse is very specialized and utilizes a hands-on approach.

I think one of the most obvious differences in a long-term care environment is the relationship that our nurses build with their residents and their families. That relationship is key to their care plan, not only for the medical needs, but for the care of the whole person. My nursing teams tell me that this is a rewarding environment because they are able to see the resident through their entire plan of care.

Q: What types of nursing jobs are available in long-term care?

A: We hire at a variety of levels. Entry level team members are Certified Nurse's Aides (CNA) and they provide the direct day-to-day care. At mid-level, we hire Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and Registered Nurses (RN). We also hire experienced nurses directly into manager and supervisor roles. But even RNs and LPNs without manager or supervisor experience have room for career growth. We have had great success training and growing our nurses into team lead positions, supervisor positions, as well as nurse educator and nurse navigator positions. We really can accommodate a variety of skill sets and experience levels!

Q: You’ve been with us for 15 years. What characteristics do you see amongst the nurses across our Network?

A: All nurses get into the field because they want to care for others. Our nursing teams are passionate about caring for others, it is ingrained in their DNA. And they do this every day, even when the day is emotionally or physically demanding, the caring never stops.

Our nurses are critical thinkers. They spend a lot of time with our physician groups and absorb a great deal of knowledge that they can use when a doctor is not onsite. They are comfortable offering recommendations to the doctors since they know their residents so well. They do this because they have a strong desire to quickly and accurately have proper diagnoses and treatments developed for our residents; after all, that’s what our residents deserve.

Q: What’s your favorite memory of your 15 year tenure?

A: Let me take you back to my first day at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network working as a staff nurse. I was given a stack of lab results to interpret and then report any abnormal results back to my supervisor. I had previously worked in a hospital setting where a doctor was always there and someone else read the lab results, I had not used those skills in years! What I quickly learned is that nurses in long-term care are challenged in new ways each day to pull all of those skills they learned in nursing school from the backs of their brains. It’s a really exciting environment if you like using critical thinking skills and nursing judgment. To meet these needs, we are committed to providing relevant training to refresh skills.

Q: Is a career in long-term care for anyone?

A: No, just like a career in a hospital setting or doctor’s office is not for everyone. It’s all about knowing your career aspirations and finding the right fit for you.

Q: What do we do to ensure that those we are recruiting are a good fit?

A: We want consistency of care for our residents and want to avoid as much team member turnover as possible because that impedes on that continuity of care, so we work hard in the interview process to ensure that our candidates understand the environment, and also feel that we fit into their own unique career goals. We offer tours of our campuses to prospective team members, as well as, when possible, the opportunity to shadow a current nurse and interact with our current team members.

Our recruitment team has a great motto: Happy caregivers = happy residents/patients = positive outcomes. I believe in that motto.

Q: The unemployment rate is low right now, making the job market very competitive and nursing jobs are always in demand. What are we doing to reach out to prospective nurses at every level?

A: We know that recruiting nurses is not a one-stop-shop and that there are multiple things we need to do to engage prospective team members. Our clinical recruiters are out and about, visiting nursing schools and participating in community events to share our open positions, as well as answering any questions about working in long-term care. We also know that there is a benefit to talking with our current high school- and college-aged employees. They may already know our organization through an entry level position in housekeeping or dining services, so it’s important for us to educate them about other career paths that are available in our nursing departments. We know that not everyone wants to go to college, so we offer guidance on the positions available within our organization that do not require a degree, such as a CNA. In 2018, our recruiters Network-wide made more than 300 touchpoints with the public, so we are out there!

Q: Anything you’d like to say to a prospective nurse looking to work in long-term care?

A: I could go on for hours about long-term care nursing careers! For prospective nurses, I’d say that each day you come to work, you get to use not only your clinical judgment, but what’s in your heart. We have a culture of caring, not only for our residents, but for our coworkers. It is truly a privilege to care for our residents, and if you are looking for a place to work where you can make a profound difference, we’re the place for you.

Explore Careers: CareersAtSrCare.org

 
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