by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Everyone ages. It is an inherent property of life. As our bodies and minds develop over time, we adapt to these changes by modifying our decisions and actions. The later years of life can be especially challenging but Quail Ridge Senior Living is here to help. At Quail Ridge Senior Living, they listen to the needs of the residents in order to understand their limitations and discuss potential solutions. They work with the community members to customize options that will help them lead the lives they want.
Meet Esther Lokwa, LPN at Quail Ridge Senior Living. She was born and raised in Nigeria and moved to the United States in 1992. Being a nurse for 24 years, including in Nigeria, she has noticed so many changes in the medical field over the years. She went to school at OSU. Her first job here in Oklahoma was at the Baptist Village Retirement Center. “I enjoyed my job there but decided to continue on in the medical field; becoming a nurse here at Quail Ridge Senior Living. I’ve been here for about a year now. I love all of the patients here and it is nice that I can get to know them on a personal basis. The staff is so nice and that makes such a difference in the job. Everyone seems to get along together. Teamwork is very important,” Esther commented.
Asking Esther what qualities make a good nurse, she replied, “I think one of the most important qualities for a nurse is being able to listen. To really listen to the patient, make good eye contact, listen to their needs, if you do this, by the end of your shift, the patient will be happy it will put a smile on their face.”
Esther had never thought about being a nurse when she was little but when she was in Nigeria, her grandmother was very sick and Esther remembers helping take care of her. Her grandmother was one that had a big influence on her life. Also, Esther’s sister is a nurse in Nigeria.
“After I came to the United States, I heard about nursing school and told myself that I could do this. It was at that moment, I knew I wanted to take care of others and become a nurse. I’ve been caring for others ever since. I enjoy my job. I also have an aunt that is a nurse in Nigeria.”
My favorite thing about having a job as a nurse is the fact that I get to meet people. We seem to really connect to each other. There are also some very good bosses here. We have a good team here and that is so important.
Asking Esther how she would describe herself, she said, I am a very patient person and a very caring person. I take my job very seriously. I also try to be pleasant with everyone and I usually put a smile on their face. I like to make others happy.”
Esther’s famous hobby is cooking. “I love to cook,” she said. She received quite a few honors and awards for her cooking in Nigeria. Apparently, everyone in Nigeria knows that she was a good cook! What an accomplishment! She also likes to go dancing. “Even though I am not that good at it,” she laughed. “I’d better stick to cooking,” she added.
When Esther is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four daughters, 25, 22, 20 and 14 years old. Esther also likes to travel and has gone to quite a few places; one of her favorite being London. “I try to get back to Nigeria to see my family as often as I can,” she said. “I was there a few years ago and I need to get back sometime soon.”
Do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to share? I ask. “I would just like to tell others to be cheerful, listen to your patient and take care of them. Don’t be afraid to help out someone when they need help. Whether it is a friend, a patient, or a CMA, don’t ever feel like you are better than the other person. Hopefully, they will do the same. Just spread some cheer wherever you go.