THE LAKES CARE CENTER
Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
The Lakes Care Center, a Phoenix Healthcare, LLC is located in NW OKC, near beautiful Lake Hefner. Nature’s beauty always adds another element to recovery.
The Lakes has provided exceptional Skilled Nursing/Therapy and Long Term Care, to the residents of Oklahoma City, since 1997. Their goal is to treat every resident like family, by providing an atmosphere of dignity & compassion, through respect & integrity.
Diana McMiller is the Administrator of The Lakes and Lisa Lippoldt is the RN/DON of the facility. Lisa is an exceptional nurse, possessing compassion, empathy and the ability to see each individual as a family member. (story continues below)
“We treat our residents like family,” Lisa said. “Each resident has a care plan that is tailored to meet their physical, mental, psychosocial and spiritual needs. We provide a holistic approach and think outside the box to meet their needs. We treat the family members of our residents with dignity and respect as well. We understand what our residents and their family members are going through during the pandemic and are adjusting daily to meet their needs as well,” Lisa added.
Growing up in El Reno, OK, Lisa knew from the age of six, that she wanted to be a nurse. “I always carried my grandpa’s medicines to him when it was time and I pretended to be a nurse. When I was a senior in high school, I was interviewed, telling them I was going to go to school and become an LPN. I am glad that I stuck with it,” Lisa said. Lisa obtained her LPN in 2006 and her RN in 2011.
“I have always had a desire to make a difference in others lives. That is my biggest reward by being a nurse. When I leave here in the evenings, some days, I feel completely defeated, although I know that I had an impact on someone; whether it was talking football or music, or lending my phone to someone so they can FaceTime their family member, I know that I did something right.”
The Lakes is large in size and has one hundred fifty beds; currently having forty-nine residents. Lisa’a typical day consists of checking her email and then greeting the residents and staff, followed by first meeting (clinical), second meeting (standup), and third meeting (Medicare). Lisa can be found assisting the residents and staff, along with answering calls from family members and doctors.
There are reports to be done, Infection Preventions, Vaccinations, Restoring Programing and Risk Management. Plus, putting orders in, following up with pharmacy and then wrapping up the day. “This is when the residents want to talk or have something to share,” Lisa said. “It’s a busy day yet, I wouldn’t change anything. I love getting to know all of the residents and I feel like we are all family,” she said with a smile.
Asking Lisa what advice she would give to someone wanting to go into the medical field, she replied, “If I were talking to a new grad, I would tell them to always follow their heart. When someone stops following their heart and just starts going to a job every day, it will bleed them dry. Being a nurse is an emotional roller-coaster with highs and lows. The high points make all of the low points worth it.”
“Of course, we have to deal with the challenges here at The Lakes too. The biggest challenge is COVID; it has crushed the lives of so many in such a short amount of time. The residents aren’t able to sit with their family during mealtime or participate in group activities. They aren’t able to see their chaplain, priest or pastor. I find it challenging to contour staff to understand what this is doing to the resident and family. It’s hard to fathom when staff gets to go home at the end of their shift,” Lisa commented.
“On a personal level, COVID changed my life at home too,” Lisa said. “We have definitely slowed down. We still see our family and friends but it is a much smaller group. I was able to receive my first COVID vaccination after fighting COVID myself. I lost one of my dearest friends to COVID last month. I certainly feel that everyone needs to take precautions not only to protect themselves but their loved ones as well.”
Asking Lisa how she would sum up her life in three words, she replied, “Laugh, cry…repeat.”