“There is a world of endless resources, there is a mind of outrageous dreams, there is a place where the two meet….anything is possible.”
I grew up in the skilled nursing home setting. My mother was a geriatric care nurse in the 1980’s and throughout my childhood I would go to work with her. Often short staffed, my mother would send me to patient rooms at the age of 8 and 9 to respond to call lights and see what patients needed. Many times there was not a real physical care need and her patients were just looking for some companionship. So as a child I would provide this. It was wonderful for me because my grandparents did not live near us and at a very early age I became completely comfortable with the aging process.
In my early 20’s it was natural for me to enter into the geriatric care field and follow in my mother’s footsteps. I was so very fortunate to be hired by a skilled nursing and rehab facility as a shared employee and had the opportunity to learn a little bit of every position.
Over the past 16 years working in health care, I’ve had to opportunity to work in many settings: skilled, assisted living and dementia specialty. My favorite is all of them, there is just no way to choose but dementia care always holds a special place for me.
I’ve had many proud moments. Twice I’ve been the recipient of the Active Living award, meaning I had developed and executed the best and most attended Activity Program of 56 Assisted Living Communities. I was also nominated for caregiver of the year by the Alzheimer’s association. By far, though my greatest accomplishment was at the beginning of my career when I was able to organize an entire wedding and two honeymoons all on donation for a 25 year old terminal brain cancer patient.
Being the matchmaker between services and patient needs has always been my true passion. My first boss told me “If you are doing the right thing for the patient, you are doing your job right”. I am so blessed to have found Burien Nursing and Rehabilitation Center where our Administrator Lynda Baldwin lets me do the right thing.