From Patients to Family: Why Your Community Needs LPNs Like You

Carol S., Licensed Practical Nurse, UPMC Heritage Place

Every day, many of us move through life in our own little world. But do you ever stop to think about the people in your neighborhood who may be in need — the elderly, the homebound, the disabled, and others? For Carol S., Licensed Practical Nurse, these people are more than just names. She has made a career out of giving the seniors in her community the care they need.


The Life of a Licensed Practical Nurse

After spending almost thirty years in her career as an LPN, Carol feels strongly that she couldn’t see herself in any other field. “This career has become a part of who I am, and I can’t really imagine doing anything else, because I can see that I’m making a difference,” she said.

While some nurses choose to continue their education beyond the Licensed Practical Nurse level, Carol’s career as an LPN has afforded her all the opportunity and development she could’ve hoped for. According to Carol, “[licensed practical nurses] have a lot of responsibility here at Heritage Place. The staff really trust us, and they believe in us a lot. They give us a chance to use and develop our skills.”

“I feel like the work challenges me, and I appreciate that,” Carol said. “It keeps you on your toes, it keeps you growing, and it keeps you engaged.”

Why Senior Communities?

After starting her nursing career in long-term care, Carol spent twenty years working in the operating room of a Boston hospital, where she gained valuable experience working alongside surgeons and mastering many specialties.

Despite the excitement and energy that she experienced in the OR, Carol found that she missed getting to interact with patients. After moving to Pittsburgh, Carol returned to senior living at Heritage Place and has found it to be the perfect role for her.

“I really appreciate being able to work one-on-one with the patients and helping them,” she said. “At this stage of their life, things can be challenging for them. For us, it takes a lot of patience and a lot of work, but it can be very rewarding because you can see how much the patients appreciate you taking the time to care for them.”

Don’t Underestimate Your Impact

Spend an hour talking to Carol, and you will quickly understand why she is such a strong believer in the importance of long-term care.

“We need more nurses in this field, because the aging population is really increasing and much more in need,” she said. Carol is right: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, seniors are projected to outnumber children for the first time in the nation’s history by 2035.

“I don’t think nurses realize how much they can make a difference in the long-term care field and how much the patients really need us,” Carol said.

Although her work as an LPN focuses on taking care of one individual’s needs, working at Heritage Place allows Carol to get to know the families of her patients — and even fill the role of a family member herself. “Often they need more than just medicine; they need you to be a family member to them. They look to us in that way, and sometimes they need kind words and reassurance more than anything else. You do have to take a minute and reassure them, and it’s rewarding to see how much your words can make a difference.”


Are you ready to discover how your career can serve your community? Explore open positions in your field at UPMC Senior Communities. #YourCommunityYourCareer

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