Lambton College first-year nursing students interested in long-term care careers spent the day meeting with Afton Park Place residents on Oct. 29 to learn more about their lives and about what it’s like to work in a long-term care community.
As part of the day, the students interviewed residents to learn about their life history, their interests and their careers. The goal of the project is to build upon the Sarnia long-term care community’s partnership with Lambton College and to create a new branch of the partnership that focuses on nursing students, says Afton Park Place life enrichment manager Stacy Petrie.
After the interviews, Petrie said she received a lot of positive resident feedback about the students. Some of the residents’ comments included:
“They were very interesting.”
“They were educated and eager to listen to our stories.”
“We enjoyed spending time with them.”
Part of the day focused on educating the students about long-term care.
“We also educated (the students) about long-term care and the needs of residents, and the students got on board with our Better Seniors’ Care campaign, and they are going to take that back to the college,” Petrie said.
Better Seniors’ Care is an annual campaign created by the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) to advocate for improvements in the long-term care sector. Ontarians are being asked by the OLTCA to send letters of support for this year’s campaign to their local MPP ahead of the release of the 2019-20 provincial budget in the spring.
The Ontario long-term care sector as a whole is trying to attract more young people interested in nursing and health-care careers. Petrie says she was encouraged by the interest in working in long-term care the students showed.
“I liked that they were eager. It was their first visit into a long-term care home, so I took them for a tour and they were asking me lots of questions,” she says. “I asked them about their goals, and they were hoping to work in long-term care, and they were even asking about summer jobs.”