The practice assistant and the main contact nurse share same competencies. Like, what? The nursing home lobby was a little shabby, and crowded with families talking to their loved ones, often huddled around circular tables. In a place that's not very exciting, he or she may be looking for ways to have fun and have something to look forward to each day.
As Gawande recounts in his book, Thomas brought in dogs, cats, and parakeets; and created an after-school program, which brought the residents into contact with kids, with extremely positive results.