CAREERS IN NURSING
GIVING GOD THE GLORY: FAITH LEADS CNA TO HELP OTHERS
by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer
Sienna Extended Care & Rehab is a skilled nursing facility with long-term care, said Adam Stephens, administrator. Sienna primarily offers skilled nursing with a 60/40 split at the 100-bed facility, located in Midwest City.
Light fills the four corners of the building that appears as a figure 8 from a bird’s-eye view.
“In the center there are courtyards that are completely encased by the building with sidewalks all the way through,” Stephens said.
The building was built in 2009. Schuyler Montgomery is the owner. He is a builder by trade who began building nursing homes years ago. Montgomery owns four locations. Gore is where his home office is at the Gore Nursing Center. Vian Nursing Center is 10 miles away at Lake Tenkiller. Montgomery also has the Weatherford Nursing Center.
Patients can get some sun in a safe environment. And within Sienna Extended Care & Rehab there are CNAs like Fredia Peoples providing a lot of love. She also has served as a mentor during her four months at Sienna. Stephens admires the work ethic of the nursing team.
“We’ve got a hard working staff. They interact well with the patients and other staff members,” she said. “I definitely think the newer building helps aesthetically to bring a nice attitude in. It starts there. But the people that we hire — we’ve got some pillars that when new ones come in, they train them the way we like it here. And it wears off on them. If you walk around during the day, even at the end of the first shift, they’re still joking. They’re having fun and the residents are having fun.”
Peoples has been a CNA for more than 20 years. And she loves it, she said. She has worked in hospitals, but said nursing homes is where her heart is. The grace of god keeps her there, she explained.
“Without his patience and his love I wouldn’t be able to do it,” Peoples said.
Becoming a CNA was a perfect fit for Peoples, who has always liked the company of elders. She likes listening to their life stories. Her work is a calling and ministry, she said, and she feels blessed to be able to provide the care and love the residents and skilled nursing patients need.
“I love their mindsets and how their minds go back to childhood,” Peoples said. “The Bible speaks of that.”
Being a CNA requires patience, concern and care, she said.
“You have to love them,” said Peoples, who is active in her church.
What she admires about the nursing staff is teamwork mixed with love and care. The staff is motivated to patient centered care with a lot of compassion, she continued.
“If you’re having a difficult time with one of the residents; for instance, there’s a couple that don’t want to get out of their beds at times, sometimes you have to leave them with somebody else and what you can’t do, they can do.”
Many of the residents have a favorite staff member. She said Sienna Extended Care & Rehab is a great place to work. One that she would refer to anyone.
Peoples offer more than encouragement. She prays for and with the residents. One woman in skilled nursing credited Peoples as the reason she stayed in skilled nursing.
“Because when I pray for her, she said, ‘Every time I see you, you just lighten up my day,’” Peoples said. “And you know I just give God all the glory for that because it’s Him. It’s not me. I tell them all the time it’s not me, it’s Him. Yes sir, it’s Him.”
Peoples met another woman in skilled nursing just recently. She noticed the lady was crying when sitting in a chair. Peoples stopped what she was doing and said, ‘What is the matter?’”
The woman said she was afraid and didn’t want to be there. She was a new patient in skilled nursing. People’s told her the therapy staff would help her and to help them to help her.
“Then you’ll get out of here as quick as you want to be,” Peoples said to her. “So I asked her if she wanted me to pray for her. And she said yes. After I prayed for her she said, ‘I feel so much better. I really do thank you for taking the time out to stop and see about me.’”
Being elderly does not mean life is finished, Peoples said. “Speak life into them,” she said.