photo by James Coburn, staff writer
Candice Chambers feels compelled to help people in life. She is at the right place. A family like environment has kept her part of the nursing team at The Timbers Skilled Nursing & Therapy in Edmond since 2006. (story continues below)
“It’s like a second family said Chambers, LPN, ADON, and wound care nurse. I’m a resident advocate for a vulnerable population that I have a lot of passion for,” she said.
Chambers earned her LPN license in 2004 after graduating from Francis Tuttle in Oklahoma City. And, she has been the ADON since 2011. Chambers career brings a depth of empathy to the profession. She was a CNA and a CMA at another facility before becoming a nurse.
Every day is a learning experience, even though she has been a nurse for a long time. She said there are always opportunities for her to learn something new.
Her work allows her to know the residents on a more personal level than if she was in another type of nursing, she said.
“For some of them it is their last stop. Some of them don’t have a lot of family and we sort of become their family, their caretakers and their providers,” she continued.
She is a flexible nurse for all seasons not only as a wound care nurse, but also by bridging gaps as the assistant director of nurses for whatever needs to be done at a given moment.
None of her family is part of the health care industry. Nursing is something she decided to do later in life at the spur of the moment after graduating high school, she said. Her career choice soon became a calling. She is gratified to work in a career that enables her to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
“Whether it’s small little things everyday they ask of you — nurses get to help them by giving things they need. A lot of them rely on our ability to take care of them.” Chambers said. “It’s rewarding when you have people feeling like you’re their family helping them.”
Some patients are there for therapy after recovering from a hospital stay. The nursing team helps make their transition of returning home easier. Family communication is a vital part of their jobs whether in rehab or long-term care.
“We make sure they’re aware of things that are going on, so they have that level of comfort knowing what their loved ones are dealing with when changes come up,” Chambers said.
Social gatherings and activities are less restrictive as COVID-19 dissipates in the state. The staff is there to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the patients to enjoy their freedoms.
“They exercise. I know they play Bingo. They just like sitting outside and looking out the window while talking together,” she explained.
Chambers enjoys spending her leisure time with her family, including her parents and the extracurricular activities that her children are involved in at school.
Her residents motivate her to accept each day as an opportunity. She is confident in the solid group of health care professionals dedicated to the best patient care they can provide.
They have even provided care of patients who had at one time worked as nurses there at The Timbers.
Chambers said she would feel confident in having one of her own family members at The Timbers. A variety of patient needs are met from strokes to post-operative care.
“Some members of our management have had their family members and loved ones here,” she said. “And I would feel good about having my elderly grandparents here.”
The nursing staff will do something to brighten a patient’s day when hours become difficult.
“We can get them a coke, a magazine they like — whatever. Just something small can make difference in making them happy in that moment,” she said.
One of the biggest compliments she can receive are all of the scores of thankfulness given by former patients. And the nursing staff gets to reflect on the benefits of compassion and skills they have provided to the elders. Their personal rewards are tangible.
“I know that they still have a lot of appreciative thankfulness for my helping them in rehab or getting done what they needed to do here,” she said. “Sometimes they will come by and say, ‘Tell her I said hello. I love everything she has done for me.’ Sometimes they communicate that way. You know that while they were here, there was something that you did that made a difference for them.”