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“I think it is important for every practitioner in a long term care setting to examine their own practice and strive to make every encounter with a resident a little bit more trauma informed than it was before incorporating the principles in everything that they do with residents every day.”

Dr. Nancy Kusmaul


In this episode, our guest Dr. Nancy Kusmaul defines trauma-informed care within residential long-term care, and describes regulations that will soon require skilled nursing facilities receiving federal funding to incorporate trauma-informed principles into person-centered care. Dr. Kusmaul compares and contrasts how trauma-informed care is viewed in residential long-term care settings as opposed to other social work settings, and why trauma-informed care is critical when working with older adults. The episode concludes by emphasizing social work’s role in long-term care, and how social workers can create environments that eliminate or mitigate triggers that have the potential to cause re-traumatization.

Dr. Nancy Kusmaul

Nancy Kusmaul, PhD, MSW, received her MSW from the University of Michigan and received her PhD from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. She is an assistant professor in the Baccalaureate Social Work program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Dr. Kusmaul was social worker in health care settings for more than a decade. Her research focuses on organizational culture, trauma informed care, and the impacts of culture on care recipients and the workforce. She is particularly interested in the experience of direct care workers in organizations, particularly Certified Nursing Assistants in long term care settings. She is a member of the Baltimore County Elder Abuse Coalition and the Maryland Nursing Home Culture Change Coalition.

Interviewer: Ziv Noam

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