According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030, every baby boomer will be age 65 or older, and that will translate to a growing need for healthcare workers.
“Senior care is one of the few industries that is projected to grow over the next several decades,” says Betsy Garrett, human resources director at Tallgrass Creek, an Erickson Senior Living facility in Overland Park, Kans. “We work hard to ensure our residents have a vibrant lifestyle with convenient access to activities and resources to live life to the fullest. That means we are providing a continuum of care that is becoming more and more important.”
The very best care
Bailey Evans wanted the fulfillment of making a difference in people’s lives and to feel valued in her career. Working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and certified medication aide (CMA) at a small facility, the joy for her job was missing. Bailey reached out to Randi Sprinkle, director of nursing at Tallgrass Creek, for a tour.
“I remember seeing a Hoyer lift in the hallway and other state-of-the-art equipment on the floor, and I knew the staff had the tools to provide the very best care for the residents,” Baily explains.
Soon after, Bailey joined the staff, and quickly felt supported in other ways. The staffing ratios at Tallgrass Creek provide better coverage for the residents and also the opportunity to ask questions and share best practices amongst the staff.
Erickson Senior Living prides itself on fostering employee growth and development. A generous tuition reimbursement program and partnerships with area community colleges and four-year schools enable employees to enroll in programs to advance in their skill areas or take a completely new career direction.
After a few months at Tallgrass Creek, Bailey enrolled in nursing school. She joined the float team to work around her school schedule, while still maintaining full-time status. That qualified her for full tuition reimbursement, and she diligently completed the two-year program and earned her license in practical nursing.
In addition to funding her education and providing a competitive salary and generous benefits like a 401K plan, vacation and sick leave, Tallgrass Creek rewarded Bailey with a raise for the licensed practical nurse (LPN) and IV therapy certifications she obtained. While she prepared for her registered nursing (RN) board exam, Bailey trained on the resident floors. Having recently passed the exam, she will soon be scheduled for nursing shifts.
Bailey’s ascent from CNA and CMA to LPN, and now to RN, is just one example of the career growth Tallgrass Creek staff members can achieve. One former member of the housekeeping staff returned to school to earn CNA certification, and another continued on from CNA to earn CMA status as well. Other employees, who started out at Tallgrass Creek as restaurant servers while in high school, have enrolled in CNA programs and received scholarship funds from the Tallgrass Creek Scholars program to assist with tuition.
Living their best lives
“Being able to put a smile on the residents’ faces every day and being able to be a part of their daily lives is so rewarding. It means everything to me,” Bailey says. “The support system and the resources we have to give back to our residents is the most rewarding and relieving feeling ever.”
Bailey and her co-workers also feel rewarded through the many appreciation events at Tallgrass Creek. There are quarterly celebrations – often with games, gifts, food, and extras like a petting zoo or turtle race, for example, as well as lunch break gift card rewards and monthly awards that recognize staff for the commitment they provide to the residents and their jobs every day.
Working at Tallgrass Creek provides staff the opportunity to live the mission of helping people live better lives, Betsy says. “You also get to live your best life here. You get to use your clinical skill sets while caring for this sensitive population, but you also have the opportunity to grow and learn and take on new challenges, all while being supported by Tallgrass Creek and Erickson Senior Living.”
To learn more about career opportunities at Tallgrass Creek, visit www.ericksonseniorliving.com/careers.