“I started working in a nursing home when I was 16 years old,” says Karen Kunz, Staffing Specialist at Grand Village in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. “It felt like a calling.”
As a staffing specialist, Karen ensures that her staff has what they need to provide the best care to residents. An essential quality of her job is being a good listener. She listens to her residents’ and staff’s needs and adapts schedules and agendas accordingly. At Grand Village, Karen is known as the glue that keeps the nursing team together.
Karen’s favorite part about her job is being able to bring a smile and warmth to residents. “To give and receive just makes the whole day perfect,” says Karen. The warmth and care that Karen gives residents is the same warmth and love she shares with her staff. “Many of our employees feel as though she is a second mother as she cares this much about each of us,” says Rachel Unger, Staff Development/Quality Nurse at Grand Village.
Many times, Karen will bake treats or provide ice cream for her staff to show gratitude for their hard work and encouragement to continue their high-quality care.
Karen wishes more people realized how rewarding and fulfilling working as a senior caregiver can be. “I go home with a full heart every day,” says Karen. She realizes how valuable our elders are to our communities and knows the important role they play in people’s everyday lives. “We can learn a lot from their wisdom and history,” says Karen. “They have so much to give us.”