Nursing Students Get Hands-On Experience At Fish Creek

Nursing students prepare an art project for residents
Nursing students prepare an art project for residents

Third-year nursing students from Mount Royal University (MRU) spent five weeks at United’s Fish Creek community getting some practical experience working with older adults in a variety of discussions and educational and social activities.

“We invite nursing students from our partner educational facilities, MRU and St. Mary’s University at various times in the year, to come to either our Fish Creek or Garrison Green community to give the students practical experience in working with older adults,” said Nikki Bonsall, United’s director of health and wellness.

“During their time here, the seven students get to know the residents,” said Carey Palanca, nursing program instructor. “They learn about the person’s life, the changes they are going through and their decision to move to an older adult community.”

Nursing students guide residents through an exercise class
Nursing students guide residents through an exercise class

As part of their education, students are required to set up an educational program and a social activity. Today, the students were guiding the residents through an exercise program.

“My perspective on aging has changed,” said student Caitlyn. “The residents are very active and engaged in the programs. There is a lot of opportunity to be involved here.”

Student Zoe added, “Every person who lives here has a name, not a number. I was struck by how engaged they are in the planning of the programs. The wellness meetings [which involved every department] are particularly impressive. It really speaks to the high level of care. They’ve done an amazing job of giving residents the opportunity to stay in the community as long as they can.”

Carey said the students came away from experience with a better understanding of what’s possible as a person ages. “There is a high level of independence here, even when a higher level of care is needed. I was particularly impressed with the flexible meal times and menu and the variety of programs available to engage residents.”

Photos by Sherana Productions. Videos by Sherana Productions

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To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

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