“Dining services. It’s a big component that residents focus on. It would be fun to cook in the kitchen and talk to the seniors in the dining room and see their reactions.”

— Nadim Abi-Antoun, Chief Operating Officer, Presbyterian Homes, Evanston, IL

“I’m not working in a facility right now, but for me it would probably be social services. I have always been interested in quality of life issues for the residents, and the social services coordinator should be the liaison for the quality of life issues in nursing homes. I admire social services, if they’re good ones and if they know what it’s all about.”

— Terry Le Bel, Nurse Consultant for the Connecticut Department of Health, Shelton, CT

“I’d love to work in palliative care. Nursing is my background. I think it would be very rewarding to be hands-on with the residents at all stages of their lives, and get the family involved.”

— Sr. Patricia Rawdon, Leadership Board, Carmelite Sisters, Germantown, NY

“I think if I were going to spend a day with someone in one department, it would be MDS. I know a lot about the MDS, but there are so many changes right now I would really like to do that just to see how the coding is, and if there are errors, where we are with everything. Because it’s going to continue to change, and I think that would be really an important day to spend.”

— Bonnie Wood, CNHA, FACHCA, Chief Operating Officer, Covenant Health Network, Scottsdale, AZ 

“I’m not in a clinical role, so the direct patient care experience would be fascinating. I’d like to try being the CNA, a direct caregiver. I had a grandmother in a long-term care facility, and those people were the ones who made a difference. I’m in HR, so I like people-to-people contact.”

— Lara Bentley, Corporate Director of Human Resources, The Ohio Masonic Home, Springfield, OH

“Wellness coordinator or therapeutic recreation director — working with residents to keep them engaged and participating in activities of life. Really understanding what brings happiness into life and experience that first-hand, on a day-to-day basis.”

— Kathleen Dess, Administrator, Life Care Services, Essex, CT 

“I’d like to try social services. We have a skilled nursing facility and some senior living. I would be able to help people, but in a different way — psychologically rather than physically. I think you’d get to know them better that way.”

— Mary Middendorf, Director of Rehabilitation Services, Baptist Life Communities, Newport, KY