Farewell to long-term care
My first day as a McKnight's intern started with my editor, Elizabeth Newman, rattling off information about CMS. I listened for a few minutes before confessing that I had no idea what CMS meant. And so began my long-term care education.
In the three months since that day, I've learned all the acronyms: RN, MDS, AHCA, ACA, LTCC and the list goes on. Not too shabby for a 22-year-old. I've written about C. diff, catheters, settlements and salary increases, or fantastic party talk. Every day at McKnight's, I learned something new about nursing homes or the government. And, to be honest, I never thought I'd ever become so invested in the long-term care commission and CMS' final rulings. Ever.
During my time here, I had new insights into dementia care, which was of particular interest to me due to my grandmother having Alzheimer's disease. My upcoming feature story on antipsychotics (coming out in our October issue) took on new resonance when I imagined my grandma instead of the residents. From interviews with providers, pharmacists and physicians, I now know that my grandma's "behaviors" happen because she's uncomfortable. They're symptoms of her disease. McKnight's, and all of you in the long-term care field, taught me to slow down and be patient with her. Although we have some 60 years between us, we can still connect and bond, even when confronting her disease.
I want to thank you, the readers of McKnight's and other experts who talked to me. And, of course, I want to thank the McKnight's team. Their incredible dedication to long-term care news serves an often under-appreciated healthcare niche. Their ideas and thoughts on both the journalism industry and healthcare world have been invaluable to me. I've learned so much.
Thank you for all you've taught me, for being patient and for always rooting for me to succeed. See you in New York.
Ashley Carman was the 2013 McKnight's summer editorial intern. Starting Monday, she'll be working as a sales/editorial assistant at SC Magazine, a sister Haymarket publication.