A Passion for the Work: Eldercare Providers Speak out about Their Work in Geriatrics

By Barbarotta, Linda | Aging Today, January/February 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

A Passion for the Work: Eldercare Providers Speak out about Their Work in Geriatrics


Barbarotta, Linda, Aging Today


Linda Barbarotta, one of our Generations authors, recently interviewed six care providers who are working in medicine, acute- and long-term-care nursing, psychiatry, social work and homecare. She asked what drew them to their work with older adults, and about the joys and challenges of their professions and why they stay.

Aging Today is pleased to offer the following excerpt from these interviews, which are featured in the article, "Voices from the Field," in the Winter 2010-11 issue of Generations.

Irene Fleshner, R.N., senior vice president, Strategic Nursing Initiatives, Genesis Health Care, Kennett Square, Pa.

Q: What are the biggest challenges to building long-term-care nursing?

A: Changing how long-term care does business by increasing the focus on employee education and staff development. The institutional culture expects people to do a job without the necessary orientation or training. You can't build a wonderful, competent, committed workforce without this investment.

Q: What are the satisfactions and joys?

A: Working with nurses who enjoy caring for older adults is wonderful. They are enthusiastic, committed, and, while many need additional training and skills, they are hungry for knowledge and learning.

Cheryl Phillips, M.D., chief medical director, On Lok, Inc., San Francisco, Calif.

Q: Why do you stay in the field?

A: I quite truly love geriatrics. But I'm not unique. Two recent studies showed geriatricians were the most satisfied and second most satisfied among physician specialists.

Q: What do you tell a colleague about being a geriatrician?

A: I tell them one of the pleasures of geriatric medicine is its complexity. I tell medical students and primary-care residents that geriatrics is the perfect intersection of diagnostic challenges and the person, his or her family and environment.

James Ellison, M.D., geriatric psychiatrist and clinical director, Geriatric Psychiatric Program, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Mass.

Q: Were there any moments in your career that crystallized for you why you're in the field?

A: Every day brings some moment of insight or enjoyment. I always learn from the experience of my patients and am often impressed by the way many older adults engage in treatment. Many of my patients show remarkable motivation, understanding and willingness to work hard addressing their problems.

Helping families adjust to the illness of an older relative they care about and love is rewarding. Helping them mobilize their resources and cope with such difficult situations is one way geriatric mental health clinicians add value to the healthcare system.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

A Passion for the Work: Eldercare Providers Speak out about Their Work in Geriatrics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?