Brookdale Careers

  • Healthcare Services Recruiter Spotlight: Matt Feldmar

    May 15, 2015



    Recruiter: Matt Feldmar
    Team: Healthcare Services
    Covers: Arizona, Oregon

    1. What’s the most common mistake candidates make shortly after the interview?
    Follow up.  Follow up.  Follow up.  Some question whether or not writing a personal note or email, thanking the hiring team for their time, is an outdated gesture.  I’m here to tell you that it’s not.  A personable follow up provides a means for a candidate to write their thoughts on how the interview went and even speaks to a candidate’s character. The little things go a long way, and I don’t know that nice gestures will ever be outdated.

    2. Where will you likely be on a Friday night?
    I’m usually on my couch watching a movie. I typically get up early Saturday morning to train for the next marathon or triathlon, so my Friday nights are like any other work night.

    3. What’s your most surprising life moment?
    Getting passed by an 80-year-old during my first Ironman in 2012 was pretty surprising. She even gave me a few words of encouragement as she zoomed passed me. Age really is just a number.

    4. Describe a red-flag during an interview.
    One time a candidate wanted to have the phone interview while they were helping a patient at their current job. It was a huge red flag. That’s a big no-no. Although there’s a long list of why this is a horrible idea, at the end of the day, Brookdale looks for candidates who put residents and patients first.

    5. What was your favorite game or activity as a kid?
    I loved playing ice hockey! Growing up in Southern California meant that ice time was limited. When I couldn’t play on ice, I would play roller hockey with the neighborhood kids.

    6. What’s the coolest thing you own?
    My bike is by far the coolest thing I own.  I’ll spare you the nerdy details, but three quick facts about my prized possession are: it only weighs 16 pounds, it’s made completely of carbon fiber, and I once hit a speedy 51 mph on it. Seriously.

    7. What cartoon character do you most resemble?
    Kung Fu Panda

    8. What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?

    9. What’s the best thing about your city?
    Portland is full of great food and craft beer.

    10.  What are key components to a great answer in an interview?
    Anytime a candidate is honest about their experience (or even lack thereof), it speaks directly to their integrity.  That goes a long way at Brookdale, and is really crucial to determining culture fit.  Even for my phone interviews, it’s amazing how genuine you can tell a candidate is even from vocal tone without ever seeing body language. I’d highly recommend candidates think about potential situational questions that could be asked and prepare for them accordingly. However, there may be a few questions you didn’t think would be asked. That’s okay. There are a lot of start-up offices I cover, so you need to be able to think well on your feet, too.

    Brookdale Careers’ Recruiter Spotlight is a 10-question, tri-weekly feature, where one Brookdale recruiter provides resume, interview, and job tips.

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  • Top 2 Stages I Knew Nursing Was For Me

    May 8, 2015



    To do what nobody else will do, in a way that nobody else can do in spite of all we go through, is to be a nurse. – Rawsi Williams

    And isn’t that the truth.  I bet everyone can agree that nursing is a job not all were meant to do.

    For Bethany Pavlisko, Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at Nashville’s Brookdale Belle Meade Memory Care Unit, that is not the case.  With her naturally kindhearted, highly empathetic and jovial demeanor, she was born for nursing.  You can always find her smiling, usually carrying a sweet-sounding tune, and sometimes even catch her busting a move or two (especially if she’s at a local concert in Music City).

    Although this is Bethany’s first nursing job, she understands that Memory Care nursing is a delicate type of nursing–one that involves a unique level of patience, compassion and care for the residents she serves.  She knows that if one of her patients asks her the same question one hundred times in a day, she will gladly reply one hundred times back.  She is constantly putting herself in her residents’ shoes and challenging herself to be the best nurse she can be.

    Are there moments that reaffirmed nursing was the field for her?  Certainly.  Find out the top two stages Bethany knew nursing was for her.

    When I began applying what I learned


    Sometimes it takes putting the textbooks down for a moment in order to reaffirm how humanizing and personable a profession like nursing really is. You’re treating someone in a critical time in their life.  

    While applying all you’ve learned in the classroom, putting a face to the name, a story to the face and a spirit to the smile is when nursing really steps into fruition.  Although Bethany grew up hearing of the extraordinary things nurses do on a daily basis from her wide family history of nurses, it was when she finally had the opportunity to work with patients on her own when she knew nursing was for her.

    Nurses don’t just treat a symptom or ailment that’s described in my school textbooks; we treat a whole person.  Textbooks can’t treat a whole person; experience can.  Because I work for Brookdale, I love sitting down with my residents and hearing about their lives.  They have all accomplished so much and have the best stories to tell!  I think that is something that can be easily overlooked, yet all of my colleagues at Brookdale also go that extra mile for the residents and that reaffirms to me that I not only chose the right career but also the right place to work.  Working in senior living has allowed me to work with the same patients and build relationships with them over the time I spend with them.  We want to make sure all the residents feel at home at all times, so I make sure one of my patients gets her preferred morning banana before her meds and take time to give manicures to female residents.

    As a nurse we go into this field knowing we will not always be thanked for our work, and we are okay with that.  But what feels beyond great to me is knowing my residents feel safe and secure.  When I can sit with a resident who is tearful and make them smile or laugh, I know that I chose the right job path for myself.

    When I realized my passion went past my shift


    Her passion for being a hands-on nurturer doesn’t stop when she leaves her community after her full-time shifts.  When Bethany says she’s passionate about helping others, she really means it.  

    Without many breaks Bethany also nannies full-time helping two young girls, ages 3 and 5, who lovingly refer to her as “Bah.”  She’s involved in everything from reading stories to performing choreographed, at-home dance recitals with them.   That’s two full-time positions (80+ hours/week), folks.  And her energy for helping others doesn’t stop there.  Bethany also volunteers with Best Buddies of Tennessee, joining others in helping those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    It’s simple–when I can help others feel good, I feel good.  I’ve always been extremely passionate about this and do all that I can to notice, empathize and ask myself what I can do to make another person’s life easier, healthier and happier.


    Although nursing wasn’t a job all were meant to do, it’s a job that is very rewarding with endless opportunity for those who were meant to do it.  In honor of National Nurses Week, which began Wednesday, May 6, 2015, Brookdale celebrates our over 9,000 nurses nationwide for their dedication in bringing exceptional care to our residents.  Brookdale wishes all of our nurses and nurses beyond Brookdale a very Happy #NursesWeek.  Thank you for all that you do.

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