Long-term care is a fast-growing and exciting profession. It offers fulfilling careers, personal relationships with residents, and plentiful opportunities for advancement.
Professional care providers ensure a positive quality of life for residents and offer compassion, companionship, and comfort to seniors and people with disabilities.
Fulfilling careers in the long-term care profession include certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), therapist, dietitian, activities director, and social worker.
Below is a brief summary of career opportunities in the long-term care profession.
Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and assistance with eating. Responsibilities may include changing linens or transporting a resident. CNAs are licensed and trained to work under the supervision of a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN).
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are certified professionals who typically have completed at least one year of post-high school education. LPNs often provide basic bedside care under the direction of a registered nurse (RN) or physician. Duties may involve monitoring vital signs, changing dressings, or collecting samples for medical tests. LPNs also can assist with personal needs, such as bathing, dressing, and walking.
Click here for a list of LPN training programs in the state.
Registered nurses (RNs) are health care professionals who have completed approved programs at the associate degree (two years) or baccalaureate (four years) levels and meet state licensing requirements. RNs provide medical care, education, and comfort to patients. They are qualified to address an array of medical situations and administer medications and IVs and may direct other medical providers, technicians, or volunteers.
Click here for a brief video on Nursing Careers in LTC.
Click here for a list of RN training programs in the state.
Therapists provide treatment to improve health conditions or prevent health issues. Therapists may specialize in a number of areas, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and infusion therapy. Therapists’ methods range from counseling to physical exercise. Education, training, and licensing requirements vary.
Dietitians focus on healthy eating and proper nutrition. They prepare meal plans, offer nutritional guidance, and oversee meal service or diet programs. Dietitians typically have at least a bachelor’s degree. Education, training, and licensing requirements vary.
Long-term care communities are not limited to medical professionals. A number of roles focus on social well-being and quality of life. Activities directors oversee events and activities in various communities. On-site opportunities may include entertainment, education, and social interaction with residents. External events can range from shopping to religious services.
Social workers in long-term care communities interview center residents and their families and assist with the transfer of residents to their homes or to the community.