Celebrating Research: Sherry Dahlke

Hear from Associate Professor Dr. Sherry Dahlke on her program of research to address ageism.

Allie Voisin - 26 November 2021

Educating nursing students before they graduate will end the ageist stigma against older patients and lead to better care, says University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing professor Dr. Sherry Dahlke. Agism can impede assessments if nurses make assumptions based solely on age. That's why Dr. Dahlke has devoted her research area of interest to ending such biases. 

Hear from Dr. Dahlke on why this research is so rewarding, her new research unit called Improving Nursing Practice with Older People (InPop), and more through this Q & A. 

How’d you get into your area of research?

I was a clinical leader on an orthopedic unit and a new nurse came to me and asked me to move the older people off of our unit as she was a surgical nurse. This caught my attention and caused me to read the literature finding gaps in nursing understanding about how to care for this population. This led me to graduate school and the rest is history.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?

The feeling that I am contributing to nursing knowledge about how to work with older people. This happens when nurses resonate with my studies in presentations and webinars and when student nurses approach me and tell me how much they learned about working with older people from my work.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?

Addressing ageism. Ageism is so ingrained in our culture and it is hard to recognize that I may never see great changes in my career.

Where do you want your research to be in 5 years?

I am moving towards older persons' concerns in my research. I would like to be able to contribute to answering questions that will support older people in society and in healthcare.

What is something your coworkers do not know about you?

I live on a farm north of Edmonton and really enjoy hanging out there with my family, which includes cats.

Where is your favourite place on campus?

ECHA — It is a beautiful building. We are so lucky to have such a great workspace.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I miss the corridor conversations with my colleagues.  Looking forward to seeing many of you in person when it is safe to do so.