New NCM says working in LTC is a chance to make a difference

John Wickert brings restaurant experience to new role at Burnbrae Gardens

Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Deron Hamel

While John Wickert has only been the nutritional care manager (NCM) at Burnbrae Gardens for about a week and a half, he says he’s enjoying his new job, largely because it’s a chance to make a difference to others.

With a background in the restaurant industry, Wickert says he pursued a position in a long-term care home because he views his new job a chance to provide “a good service” to people receiving care.

He came to the Campbellford long-term care home after he was recommended for the position by Burnbrae Gardens’ former NCM, Adam Brand, who is now at Riverview Manor in Peterborough. Brand and Wickert worked together at a restaurant.

While Wickert is new to the position, the experience of working in long-term care has been rewarding, he says.

“It has been really a pleasurable experience so far,” he says. “Everyone is really friendly and the residents are great.”

Wickert is finding many similarities between cooking in a long-term care home and a restaurant. For instance, the clientele always expects high-quality food. So, attention to detail is important in both restaurants and long-term care home kitchens.

What’s different, he says, is that the atmosphere in a long-term care home kitchen is more relaxed which gives staff members a lot of time to focus on the quality of each dish.

“There’s still the urgency to get the food to people in a timely manner (but) there’s still more time to put a lot of effort into it,” Wickert says.

Administrator April Faux says that while Wickert is new to the position his commitment is shining through.

“John was highly recommended and he’s got great restaurant experience, which is a perk, plus he’s young and energetic and he really wants to be here,” she says.

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