You're always on the go in LTC nursing
RPN Mary Ann Cardwell discusses life at Burnbrae GardensMay 8, 2012
Burnbrae Gardens registered practical nurse (RPN) Mary Ann Cardwell says one thing that separates long-term care nursing from other disciplines is that you’re always on the go in a long-term care home.
Cardwell has been working at the Campbellford long-term care home since July 2011, becoming a nurse in December. She completed her RPN qualifications at Fleming College shortly before, and did her work placement at Burnbrae Gardens. This gave her first-hand knowledge of life in long-term care.
She says she chose a career in long-term care because it appealed to her desire to work in a fast-paced environment where she can always enhance her skill set.
“I like to be on the go; I don’t like to sit at a desk,” she tells the OMNIway. “Nursing in long-term care is more hands-on, moving and on-the-go.”
While she enjoys the work that comes with long-term care, Cardwell says it’s also the residents and staff members at Burnbrae Gardens that make the home a great place for a career.
The long-term care sector has long faced the challenge of attracting nurses. That said, often people who work as nurses in long-term care say they wouldn’t be anywhere else. Asked what makes long-term care a choice career, Cardwell says it’s the fact that homes like Burnbrae Gardens create close-knit environments.
“You’re kind of like one big family,” she says, adding that when you work in other nursing disciplines people are constantly coming and going, which often prevents opportunities for friendships to be formed.
National Nursing Week runs May 7-13. The week, which is promoted by the Canadian Nurses Association, is set aside to acknowledge nurses for their work. Long-term care homes throughout the sector dedicate the week every year to acknowledge their nursing teams.
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