When you picture a senior living facility, what comes to mind? The caring staff, the friendly community of residents — all of these are familiar parts of the senior care environment. But what is it really like to work in a UPMC Senior Community? Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Kelsey M. took us behind the scenes to reveal three things that you might not know about working in senior communities.

1. It’s the best of both worlds

When Kelsey began her career as an LPN, she was overwhelmed by all the possible directions where she could take her career. “There are so many doors and so many places to go,” Kelsey said. For this reason, working in a UPMC Senior Community was the perfect place for her to start her career and figure out where she fit best.

Seneca Place, where Kelsey works, offers multiple levels of care, including two floors of long-term care for patients who can no longer live alone and a floor for skilled nursing and rehab patients. With these diverse kinds of care, Kelsey and her coworkers are able to hone their skills in a wide variety of areas.

“Starting in a senior community was the best option for me, because it’s very fast-paced and there is so much going on, but it isn’t as intimidating as a hospital setting,” Kelsey said. “It was a good place to start and get an understanding of what I like. Now that I’m here, I know that I do like the geriatrics and the pace fits me well!”

2. Get ready to learn!

During her time as a nurse at Seneca Place, Kelsey has learned a great deal about caring for the elderly — and has been supported by UPMC along the way.

Starting with a three-day training session when she accepted her role at Seneca Place, Kelsey quickly learned about what her organization values. “When I started, I was really surprised by the training process and how UPMC likes to involve their employees,” she said. “They’re very patient-driven and very employee-driven. This role has taught me how to respect people and respect your environment.”

On top of that, Kelsey has appreciated the care that UPMC provides not just to its patients but to its employees as well. “It’s good to know that you can be taken care of yourself,” she said.

3. Residents feel like family

In a hospital setting, patients often move from unit to unit without having the opportunity to truly get to know any one staff member. At Seneca Place, Kelsey has found that to be far from true. “I was always nervous about nursing, because big hospitals can be intimidating, but when I came to Seneca Place, it was so much smaller and more comfortable. Here you get to know your patients, and you have a lot more time to get to understand them.”

“Because you see them every day, the residents become your family. I see them more than my own grandparents at times,” Kelsey said.

At the end of the day, Kelsey has the most appreciation for the relationships that are built at Seneca Place. Residents have the option to move from independent living to a more skilled care facility as their needs change, but the relationships they build with staff and with each other remain strong. According to Kelsey, “it’s just really cool to be a part of.”

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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