The Graduate Practicum Experience

Each summer,  first-year gerontology master’s students go out into the field for a practicum. And each fall they return with experiences that shape their studies and careers. These transformative experiences are shared in a formal presentation to faculty and students a few days before classes start in August.

Summer 2019

Barbra Brottman practicum experience

Barbra Brottman

Program: Master's of Gerontological Studies

Location: Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, Cleveland, Ohio

Some of my goals included understanding all that goes into a non-profit research institute; executing and conducting a focus group; and networking with scholars in the field of aging.

I was able to gain real world experience and apply what I had learned in class to the work I was doing at Benjamin Rose. Over the 10-week practicum, I learn about the great organization, aided in developing an online resource for family caregivers, helped in creating and conducting a focus group, and more. Thanks to all the Benjamin Rose staff, I accomplished my goals. Benjamin Rose exceeded my expectations of an internship and I learned more than I could imagine.
y doctoral journey. 

Hannah's practicum experience

Abby Hermesch

Program: Master's of Gerontological Studies

Organization: Council on Aging (COA) of Southwestern Ohio 

Location: Springdale, Ohio

My position at COa was Process Improvement Intern. My goals were to: learn more about COA's programs and services, especially care management; network with those working in the aging network; and enhance knowledge of creativity/innovation tools

I worked with the Innovations Team on projects that aimed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of COA's programs. Examples include developing a revised model of care management for COA's Medicaid programs and creating a procedure manual for new program expansion. I appreciated the opportunity to connect with COA staff and clients through interviews and shadowing.

 

Nathan Sheffer

Cheyenne Kinsella

Program: Master of Gerontological Studies

Organization: Maple Knoll Village 

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

 

I chose to do a shortened version of an Administrator-In-Training (AIT). One of my main goals was to understand the responsibilities of a Nursing Home Administrator.

I successfully completed this goal by rotating through more than 10 departments and understanding how they each operate day-to-day. This in turn made me understand what an administrator does and how one keeps their facility running successfully. This internship also solidified my decision to become an administrator after graduation!



 

Priyanka Shrestha

Abbey Klacik

Program: Master of Gerontological Studies

Organization: Otterbein Small House neighborhood

Location: Middletown, Ohio

I chose to do a mini-AIT to decide if I wanted to pursue a career in long-term care administration. My goals were to: learn/work in a variety of departments that make up a skilled-nursing facility; form relationships with staff and residents; learn how a non-traditional NH model works; and improve professional communication skills.

I was able to work in every department of the facility, I led several orientation sessions for new hires, I was offered the opportunity to do my formal AIT with my supervisor there, and I formed great relationships with a variety of staff members and residents.

Priyanka Shrestha

Renusha Maharjan

Program: Master of Gerontological Studies

Organization: Scripps Gerontology Center and Oxford Seniors, Inc.

Location: Oxford, Ohio

My goals were to: develop research skills: gain online survey development skills; practice professional interaction; gain information about caregiver support programs, levy-funded programs, and age-friendly initiatives; and increase my understanding of senior center operations and home and community-based services.

My major accomplishments were online survey development in Qualtrics, participation in developing interview guides for an evidence-based program and development of pre and post-survey tools, gained information on senior services levy program, and developed communication skills.

Susanna Smith

Susanna Smith

Program: Master of Gerontological Studies

Organization: Jewish Family Service of Cincinnati

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

My goals were to: expand scope of knowledge pertaining to Geriatric Care Management Practices (GCM); synthesize & communicate information effectively; contribute meaningful insights/suggestions to marketing and outreach teams; and develop relationships with Russian Jewish Cultural Center visitors and staff.

My position at Jewish Family Service was Client Services Intern. My major accomplishments were: creating a business plan for CareLink (for-profit geriatric care-management practice), facilitating two culturally relevant art projects for visitors of the Russian-Jewish cultural center and assisting clients with finding best practices and options of care for loved ones

 Jessica Yauk

Jessica Yauk

Program: Master of Gerontological Studies

Organization: Ebenezer 

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

My practicum goals were to: gain knowledge about dementia and how staff are trained in dementia care; improve communication skills with staff and residents; gain experience in completing observational research; and gain an understanding of how research is put into practice in the field of gerontology.

I had the opportunity to visit multiple senior living communities around the Twin Cities area and attend staff training on a variety of topics about how to care for persons with dementia. I interviewed staff and completed observational research at sites to assess staff engagement with residents. I also assisted in the creation and presentation of a care partner support group leadership training to train staff on how to facilitate a support group for care partners of persons with dementia.

Heshuo Yu

Heshuo Yu

Program: Master of Gerontological Studies

Organization: Village Home Health and Hospice

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

My goals were to: gain an in-depth understanding regarding hospice; learn how the Village Home Health and Hospice operates; improve professional communication skills with patients and staff; and become a part of the interdisciplinary team and engage with Hospice care independently as a hospice volunteer.

I served as a companion for hospice patients by offering socialization activities and providing activities with music. I served as an integral member of the hospice interdisciplinary group as a hospice volunteer. I also actively participated in weekly interdisciplinary group meetings, attended and presented in patients’ care conferences, and assisted the RN to record patients’ vital signs. I was pleased to received a Dedicated Hospice Volunteer badge during my time at Village Home Health and Hospice.