by Bobby Anderson,
Paris, Texas. A dart on a map and Microsoft. What do all three have in common?
They’re all in Melissa Wilson’s rearview mirror.
Wilson, the new director of nursing at Midwest City Healthcare Residence, has been on a unique career path the last decade but she feels like she’s finally home, back in the area she grew up.
Wilson’s roots are in Mid-Del, having graduated from Del City High School, but she currently has a home in Paris, Texas.
“They were looking for someone to come in and make a difference and that’s hopefully why they got me,” she said after four weeks on the job.
Wilson lost her mother nearly three years ago. After that, the RN needed to be somewhere else.
“I hadn’t really dove into long-term care until I saw my mother going through the dying process,” Wilson said. “It truly changed me as a nurse. It was a such a blessing to be part of that with her. It changed my perspective altogether on long-term care.”
Already in management she decided to throw it out there and see what came open. A position in Paris, Texas did.
With a husband who is a nurse, the two put in an offer on a house on a whim and it was accepted two days later.
It seemed meant to be.
The pendulum swung again earlier this year when her new position came up.
Having graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University and then earning her master’s in healthcare management from California Miramar, she was ready to move back to the OKC suburb.
“I have a heart for community,” Wilson said.
Walking in brand new Wilson’s eyes are wide open. She’s been looking at all the little things that add to become the big things.
“You have to first be present,” Wilson said. “I don’t like staying in my office. You don’t find me very often here. I’m usually out there. I can’t know my residents or my staff without being present and involved. People lose sight of the fact this is a home and we’re just guests here.”
Something Wilson has brought with her is the philosophy of a Capture culture.
Before nursing, Wilson spent seven years working for Microsoft in the IT sector. She learned a lot about working with people and how to motivate them.
“I want my staff to know it’s kind of like the Disneyland experience. They don’t tell you this but their employees are first,” Wilson said. “In order to make everybody else happy and have the experience they have they take care of the employees. The employees are so happy to be there and to work that it just shows.”
“That’s why I do the customer second, not to put our residents before our employees but if I’m taking care of my employees they’re going to be happy and respectful and it’s just going to trickle down.”
In her fourth DON position Wilson calls the Midwest City Healthcare Residence one of the best facilities she’s been involved with. The quality of care and compassion ranks as the highest she’s seen along the way.
Working on the floor every weekend since she’s arrived, she’s picked up things like aides stopping to hug residents or nurses helping each other out.
“It’s a good feeling,” she said.
With her family still in Paris, Wilson spends the week in Midwest City before heading back for the four-hour drive on Friday night.
“I see big things for this facility,” she says. “I see a lot of growth and a revamping of the facility itself. We have such a unique relationship with (the long term care center) next door. Everybody is interacting and it’s a great feeling.”
The attached long-term acute care facility provides first-response to the residence for code situations.
Midwest City Healthcare Residence implements two assistant directors of nursing as well as a staffing coordinator.
Shower aides and feeding aides are also utilized to help provide care. Up to 11 allied staff work alongside four charge nurses to provide direct care to around 70 residents each day.
Ten years ago when Wilson really started thinking about becoming a nurse she decided to become a CNA. Her first shift through agency was at Midwest City Healthcare Residence.
“It was just a God moment when this position came open,” she said. “I thought ‘maybe I can do something here.’ It just happened and happened quick and you knew it was right.”