Future medical assistants gain insight, understanding of elder clientele
Patient Care Sciences students at Minnesota School of Business-Richfield were paired with residents of a local senior community—gaining invaluable insight into a generation they’ll help as clients in their future careers.
“Our future medical assistants learned that our elderly are treasures and the time they shared at Village Shores Senior Community was a wonderfully special gift,” said instructor Rosemary LeBlanc.
Over a series of three nights, the students and seniors shared personal stories and compared life experiences. Residents shared stories about family and aging. Students spoke about how they were trying to make a better future for themselves and others.
“The residents were apprehensive when I first asked them to volunteer,” said Jennifer Draper, director of programs at Village Shores. “They were concerned that they didn’t have anything of interest to share or teach. But after the first meeting … they were all smiles, asking, ‘When do we meet again?’”
Returning to the classroom, the class reflected on the insights the seniors offered. The class recognized that cross-generational understanding requires special verbal and nonverbal skills—and practice.
“Helping others give you a great feeling like you accomplished something big,” said student Emily Outhavong. “It’s about giving back to other people. Not only is it about helping others, but you are also helping yourself become a better individual.”