Reader Poll: What do you wish you could do at work for the first time?

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“Probably go out with my patients for a simple thing like eating outside or going to a restaurant they like. We try to give them all these choices. They might want a special breakfast, but we have 275 patients, and if we give everyone their own breakfast, nobody would get it on time. I'd probably take one or two at a time if they wanted to go out. That's what I'd want.”

— Evangeline Lim, RN, MDS Coordinator, Burlingame Long Term Care, Burlingame, CA 

“Create a better mentor program. We have one, but it's not where it should be. I'm sure it happens everywhere, but we tend to eat the newbies in our profession. It's about figuring out the right people to pair them up with, and not burning out the mentors.”

— Angela Willms, Executive Director, Heritage Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Port Washington, WI

“I wish I could put on an addition and increase parking. The building's 36 years old and it's just grown with the demand. Programs have changed. My ultimate dream would be to add a therapy pool. It would be the only one in town.”

— Colleen A. Flynn, MS, RD, LD, NHA, Executive Director, Courville at Nashua, Nashua, NH

“Since I do the maintenance, I'd like to transform and upgrade halogen lights and room lights to LED fixtures. The cost is not coming down as fast as it should so we haven't done it yet, but it would be a big step forward. It would be good for the resident because it's better light for older eyes, better for the community because it's not putting demand on the electrical system and it's good for the nation because it's cleaner.”

— Paul Beaty, Maintenance Supervisor, Sunrise Terrace Nursing and Rehabilitation, Windfield, IA 

“I'd like to be a resident for two to three days, just to experience it. We have focus groups and you learn a lot that way. I look at everything. If you aren't a detail-oriented person, you can't see the big picture and you're not going to be a good administrator.”

— Joe Sladich, Community Development Director, Roe Family Facilities, Anacortes, WA

“I'd like to establish a history course for juniors and seniors in high school. Instead of using a book, they could learn from someone who's been a part of history. I'd want to get the state's OK for it. The students would hold a hand, hear from the residents what it was like to be in World War II or live in another time. They'd be learning about dignity and respect, and death and dying, and maybe grow an interest in healthcare. For operators, it would be good because it would help lessen resident depression and create more independence, and be ‘free' help. The state would get educational offerings for free.”

— John Vrba, M.S., CEO, Burgess Square Health Care & Rehab Centre, Westmont, IL