For more than two decades, Erin Povse has served as an occupational therapist working in a hospital, mainly with older adults. Also, her parents were getting older and she became interested in gerontology, desiring some different viewpoints for professionals outside a hospital setting. As a result, Erin recently completed our Gerontology Certificate program and shared more about her experience in the program.
What are the most important things you learned in our Gerontology class?
We learned so much. I have been able to apply it at work. One of the things that really hits home is that I might have even been afraid of aging. Now I am not as afraid anymore. We all have to do it. I think that living in this cosmopolitan city of Atlanta, no one wants to age. Everyone wants to look young and have zero wrinkles. I’ve even dyed my hair. Now I am embracing the idea of aging. We older people have so much to offer and yet I don’t think that is recognized. I found myself in a very eclectic class with people from many backgrounds. We all learned from one another in addition to the instructor and the book we read.
How did you find out about the class?
I’d seen the course in the Catalog for four years. I was scared to go back to college. I graduated in 1993 and didn’t know if I was ready. I love to take courses and be educated, but this course is one year long with more commitment. Finally, this year I said I am doing it.
How was the transition back to school?
I was not nervous about being in school. I realized I could write a paper, do evidence-based practice and learn. With this course, I learned more about myself. I have learned about ageism and I want to do my part to reduce that. We need to improve the way we take care of older adults in healthcare settings. The course has also helped me with some of my relationships with people in the hospital, with coworkers and my patients. I’ve learned to have a different perspective.
What will you take away from this experience?
You may think you know things from your work or occupation, but there is so much more to life than just your job. Even though I do know a little about gerontology, there is just so much more to it. It is just enriching. I feel that I am better person for going through this class. I am ready to embrace aging itself and taking care of my family and patients.