Residences Senior Living values the contributions our nurses make every day of the year. During National Nurses Week 2021 we asked nurses why and how they became nurses, the experiences that led them to care for our residents. We found there were common threads and enthusiasm to encourage young women in particular— those with young families who may be wondering if their dream may still become reality. Here’s what they had to share–
Sue—Director of Resident Services, Residences at Coffee Creek
Sue has been a nurse for 20 years; she feels it’s a calling. She recalls her days in Catholic elementary school. Rather than play outside she would go downstairs to the church ladies and help them make pierogis, because she loved being around older people so much. However, it wasn’t until after she was married with young children that she began nursing school and credits her late husband with urging her to pursue her dream. Her experience as a nurse has been in a skilled nursing facility, rehab, and she’s worked in Memory Care at Residences at Coffee Creek. At the urging of Kaitlynn Redmon, Executive Director, Sue has assumed leadership responsibilities for resident care. She ranks Memory Care as her fondest experience. She values the characteristics that residents have; they are loving and grateful despite being somewhat lost as they are not able to communicate as they once were able. She wonders what is on their minds, what are they trying to communicate. As for her leadership role, she has enjoyed learning more about rules and regulations in healthcare and the assisted living care setting as well as making informed decisions when circumstances arise.
Amie—has been a nurse for 20 years and enjoys learning so she plans to continue her education, obtain her BSN and then MSN. She feels she was called to work with older adults; she became a CNA at the age of 18 and began nursing school when she was 24 and had small children. Her experiences in different settings include a clinic, home health, and working with the school nurse in the Lake Station system. She’s been engaged with long term care since 1993. Working with Geriatrics is her passion; before coming to Residents at Coffee Creek Memory Care, she was a nurse in a group home. She enjoys being able to provide personal attention to residents. Her advice to younger nurses is to try their hardest to get their education, try not to become discouraged and overwhelmed, thinking you’ll never get there. “Put one foot in front of the other and you will progress. Even if you have young children, continue because education opens so many doors,” she says emphatically!
Lorri—has been a nurse for 12 years and knows it is her calling because as a child she always played as a nurse. While her first degree was in Food Management, she felt compelled to continue her education and become a nurse, while raising her daughters, too. Her experience has always been with long term care and she began working in a skilled nursing facility. The advice she offers is to not be discouraged if you didn’t go to nursing school right away but entered a different field. She says she had more maturity when she made the decision to follow her calling. She describes nursing school as stressful because there’s so much to learn. She says you can cope with it a little better as you mature. The same is true for handling working relationships with other nurses and medical professionals including physicians– maturity helps reduce stress. She likes working in the assisted living setting and encourages the nurses who have been working for a number of years to think about this as a career move. She believes they would enjoy the pace.
Pam—works straight 3-11pm in Residences at Coffee Creek Memory Care. She has been a nurse for 18 years and began nursing school after her children were grown. She says having support from your family is key and is grateful that her husband encouraged her. Her first experience was at a skilled nursing facility and she credits that as her major learning experience. “You learn to do so many nursing procedures from IV’s to injections, wound care and many other specialized procedures,” she says. She also worked in a urologist office setting for 11 years and learned to assist with many office patient procedures. She has worked for physician offices including gastroenterology, dermatology, and ear/nose/throat specialists as well as in the hospital setting. But she found her passion is geriatrics. At the skilled facility she learned how to work with families as well as older patients. She feels the more you work with older patients the more sympathetic you become to what they are going through as are their families. Pam notes the families need just as much help with aging loved ones and that’s why she is so content to be working in Memory Care.
For more information about joining our Resident Care teams call Residences at Deer Creek, Schererville at (219) 864-0700 or Residences at Coffee Creek, Chesterton, at (219) 921-5200. Online www.ResidencesSeniorLiving.com