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Whether they are conducting ongoing assessments or helping residents reconnect with long-neglected hobbies, nursing students have found a home at Foulkeways at Gwynedd. The continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is working with Drexel University in Philadelphia to provide hands-on experience to students in 2 of the university’s nursing education programs. This summer, 16 students made weekly visits to Gwynedd House, Foulkeways’ skilled nursing facility. Gwynedd House staff assigned each student to a single resident’s care at the start of the 10-week program. New residents were added to the students’ rosters in later weeks.Students carried out a variety of caregiving tasks during their 10-week practicum, including:
They also developed evidence-based “teaching plans” that used pet therapy and music appreciation to engage residents while giving students a better understanding and respect for aging adults.
Drexel requires all of its nursing students to complete a clinical practicum in a variety of specialties, including gerontology. The Foulkeways program included traditional students enrolled in the university’s 4-year Bachelor of Nursing program. Students in the Accelerated Career Entry Program also participated. These students have already earned a degree in another field of study and complete their course requirements in 12 months. “The experiences at Foulkeways have influenced our students’ perceptions of working with the ‘older’ population in a very positive way,” says Drexel Adjunct Clinical Professor Maureen Hoban Kahn. “They are being offered the opportunity to translate what they have learned in the classroom into a hands-on experience, and are seeing what ‘respect’ and ‘genuine caring’ look like in a real-life setting.”
Foulkeways at Gwynedd is a LeadingAge member that opened its doors in 1967. It was the first Quaker CCRC in the nation and one of the first CCRCs to open in Pennsylvania. The organization recently received the 2012 Excellence in Health Care Compliance Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.