Reader Poll: "What was your first job, and what did it teach you?

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“My first job going into this particular field was an administrator-in-training, where I would come in and work in a nursing home. I worked on the long-term care side and the Medicaid side. I got the opportunity to work with the administrators, all of the long-term care staff, nursing, and the DON, hardworking people who keep the facility going. The thing I liked most about the job was that I was involved, and I had hands-on experience. I was able to see them being able to interact with families and explain how their facility is trying to make a difference with individuals and also within the community.” 

— Tiffany Gunn, Administrator, Independent Adult Care Services-TSG Services, Inc., Richmond, VA 

“I worked for the Nassau County Health Department as a sanitarian. I was basically a health inspector, going out to sites and checking for violations. It taught me a lot about the regulatory process and compliance.”

 — Jerry Enella, Administrator, Sapphire Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing of Central Queens, Flushing, NY 

“I grew up in a very fertile part of Michigan, so in the summers I used to count ears of corn. That's how I bought my first bike. I learned that the sun was not my friend, but I also learned a lot about the value of hard work.” 

— Troy Churchill, Administrator, Lee Memorial Health System, Ft. Myers, FL 

“I worked for a senior services agency when I was in high school. They had a federal program to do chore service to enable people to stay in their homes, and so I would do things like mowing their yards, trimming shrubbery, a lot of outdoor work and inside painting if people didn't have much of an income. I learned a lot of useful household skills in the process, but I always loved being around elderly people and developing those relationships. So I really enjoyed it, and I think that set the stage for me later on to move into long-term care administration.”

— Phil Dubois, CNHA, FACHCA, Program Manager, Long-Term Care Administration, St. Joseph's College of Maine, Oxford, ME 

“My first job was taking tickets and doing concessions at a movie theater. It taught me the value of good customer service.” 

— Sharon Colling, CNHA, CALA, FACHCA, CEO, Lantern Health Services, Waverly, NE 

“I was actually a carpenter's helper in construction. I did that for a lot of years, through the summers. It taught me the value of hard work, and it also taught me the value of education.” 

— Scott Edens, CNHA, FACHCA, Regional Vice President, Ethica Health & Retirement Communities, Ooltewah, TN