Dietary team member working towards next step in career path at Pleasant Meadow

Jessica Arscott has gone from working as a PSW to working in dietary and is now taking courses to help her one day become a nutritional care manager

Pleasant Meadow Manor team member Jessica Arscott is setting her sights on the next step in her 20-year career in long-term care.

While Jessica has spent most of her career working as a personal support worker (PSW), she’s now working in the nutritional care department at the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home and is taking courses to help her gain the skills needed to eventually become a nutritional care manager (NCM).

Jessica made the switch to the dietary department after an injury forced her to change duties. But Jessica’s years working as a PSW resulted in a strong connection with residents and she “didn’t want to lose the rapport with them,” she says.

The skills Jessica is learning through the online course she’s taking through CHA Learning are providing her with the knowledge she will need as an NCM.

“Taking on the education and hopefully the role of the nutritional care manager just gives me a different way to care for the residents; it gives me a different option to make sure that their needs are met,” Jessica tells The OMNIway.

“Right now I’m working in dietary, exploring the different shifts and learning the different responsibilities, and it has been nice because there is so much that I had no idea about relative to residents’ diets.”

For example, when Jessica worked as a PSW, she says she knew that protein drinks helped promote skin integrity, but she didn’t know how those drinks were made.

“But now I know,” she says.

Jessica also says Pleasant Meadow Manor NCM Judy Schell and Chris Weber, OMNI Health Care’s operations manager of nutrition and food service, have been with her to offer support and guidance.

Working with Judy every day, Jessica adds, has gone a long way in helping her learn about everything the NCM position entails.

“To have a mentor like her, I feel it would be an easy transition into a role like this,” she says.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Pleasant Meadow Manor dietary team member Jessica Arscott is seen here holding a tray of muffins.