Member Spotlight: Alex V. Keller-Krieger of Oakview Nursing and Rehabilitation

April 15, 2019

After visiting his mother at work at Blair House, Alex V. Keller-Krieger realized how much he enjoyed visiting with the residents. He finally gave in to his mother’s insistence that he go back to school for nursing, and he obtained his CNA license. As the current recreational program director at Oakview Nursing and Rehabilitation in Burlington, Iowa, Alex gains a sense of purpose from making a difference in the lives of others.

How did you get started in the long-term care profession?
For years my mother told me that I should go back to school for nursing. I didn’t think it was for me because of the unpleasant things that nurses deal with. While visiting my mother at work, back when Oakview was Blair House, I noticed I enjoyed visiting with the residents. A little while after that I thought, I would love to have an impact on those kind people’s lives – to be able to give them a smile through their day. I obtained my CNA in May 2017 and got hired at Blair House, where I spent a little over a year as a CNA.

What do you like most about working in long-term care?
My favorite part of working in long-term care is building relationships with the residents. I think being able to put smiles on their faces gives my life purpose. Making that little bit of difference in their lives is something that is really important to me.

What would you tell others to encourage them to consider a career in long-term care?
I would encourage them to visit. Sit down and actually listen to the stories these people have to tell. The things they did when they were younger are amazing. Most of all, being able to give to these people in need is a feeling unlike any other. The internal reward from the job is a far greater prize than any.

What lessons have you learned working in long-term care that also helps you outside of work?
I have learned how important it is to treat everyone with the same respect. Seeing people from all backgrounds makes me realize how important they are to the bigger picture. Their role was every bit as important as mine is now.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with loved ones. I have an eight-month-old son that is the light in my life, along with his mother. I enjoy anything that has to do with the great outdoors. My all-time favorite thing to do when I am not at work is fishing.

What is/are your favorite quote(s) and why?
“I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.” – Tom Hardy
“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi