How a Springdale resident’s dance reminded a student why she’s choosing a nursing career

Clinical instructor Sarah Towns (left) and Trent University nursing student Katherine Ledlie (right) are pictured at Springdale Country Manor on March 4.

‘It was so nice to see a resident who doesn’t communicate express how happy she was’

SPRINGVILLE, Ont. – Katherine Ledlie recalls how she was walking down a hallway at Springdale Country Manor recently when a resident who does not verbally communicate spotted her, smiled and started to do a little dance.

This, says Katherine, who is studying nursing at Trent University, is an example of what makes doing a placement in a long-term care home special.

“It was so nice to see a resident who doesn’t communicate express how happy she was,” Katherine tells The OMNIway. “Things like that really make being here worth it. She was beaming and couldn’t stop laughing. That really resonated with me.”

Sarah Towns, a clinical instructor overseeing the students’ placements, says providing nursing students with hands-on experience in a long-term care home is valuable because long-term care settings are quite different from acute-care environments.

A major difference, she notes, is health-care professionals often form stronger bonds with the people they care for in a long-term care home.

“Long-term care is interesting because this is the residents’ home, and you’re essentially coming into someone’s house, and you get to know people on a much deeper level than you would in a hospital, where people are always coming and going,” she says.

Katherine says her experience with the “dancing resident” made an impression on her and reinforced her decision to pursue a nursing career.

“That’s one of the reasons I want to go into a nursing career: it can be challenging but also very, very rewarding,” she says.

Currently, two groups of eight Trent nursing students are coming to Springdale twice per day, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The students are in the second semester of their first year, and this is their first clinical placement. Students are mainly learning about the work personal support workers (PSWs) do.

The students have been doing their placement at Springdale since Feb. 4 and will continue coming to the home until April 1.

– This Part 2 of a two-part story

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