Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Providence Home Care is a Home Health and Private duty agency serving the OKC metro area since 2002. They have the honor of currently caring for one hundred forty patients. Their clinical team consists of three RNs, three LPNs and a number of physical and occupational therapists. They offer a variety of skilled services with specialty programs in cardiac care, tele-monitoring program, orthopedic after care, wound care, disease management and maintenance. (story continues below)
Providence and its employees have a heart for serving. Guided in how they operate, care for patients and each other and by living out their SERVE values. Serve…Everybody matters…Results…Virtue…Excellence.
Kimberly Walinski, RN is Director of Clinical Services. She has worked at Providence Home Care for five years. Taking on many responsibilities, Kimberly stays busy as she oversees care of all of the patients, reviews daily labs, schedules, communicates with physicians and their staff members. “I serve on the Leadership team at Providence. Working here has been a blessing. I was fortunate to have mentors that encouraged me, guided me and believed in me. Sometimes, you don’t know what you are capable of until someone believes in you.”
As a young child, Kimberly had a dream of being the next Whitney Houston. “As I got older and realized that I couldn’t sing well, I thought I would make a great attorney. I loved to argue my point because I hated to be wrong,” she said with a laugh.
It was nineteen years ago that Kimberly became a nurse. “I chose nursing after watching my mother suffer from cardiac and respiratory illness starting in her late forties. I was inspired to learn more about disease management and prevention. After receiving my CNA my senior year in high school, I applied to LPN school. I graduated from Southwest Technology Center and received my LPN license in 2001. In 2007, I decided to advance my education and received my ASN from Platt College here in OKC.”
What qualities make a good nurse? “I believe one should be able to see the whole picture. I’ve learned that while we may see illnesses every day, for each patient, it is personal. This is their journey, their struggle, their battle. I see everyone as an individual, not a case and not another disease. Individualized care, time and understanding is just as valuable as the skill we provide,” Kimberly commented.
Kimberly considers her biggest reward as a nurse is that she cares for them during a vulnerable season of life. “Knowing that I played a part and that every night I can go to bed knowing that I brought value. Working primary with geriatrics is an honor. I can’t think of a more deserving populations to care for,” she said.
“On the other hand, the biggest challenge as nursing manager has been learning to manage people. To find a balance between making decisions that are best for our company and operations but also provide the best work enviroment for our team. The work we do is hard, physically and emotionally taxing. I have to care for my employees as well as my patients,” Kimberly added.
Asking Kimberly if anyone influenced her to be a nurse, she replied,” My mother always told me that she wanted to go to nursing school but never had the opportunity. It was an incredible pride for her that I became a nurse. She told anyone about it, as long as they would listen,” she said. “My mother passed away eight years ago and it brings me joy knowing how proud she was to have a daughter in nursing,” she added.
How has the Coronavirus changed your life? Kimberly replied, “It has been incredibly challenging and managing in healthcare during the pandemic. From creating new infection prevention policies to acquiring proper PPE to protect our staff and patients. We were all fearful at the beginning but the care-workers had to put that to the side, woking hard to educate ourselves and take every possible precaution to protect ourselves, patients and families. It is a full team effort and our team has handled it amazingly. As healthcare providers, we made a choice to care for others, putting their needs above our own.”
Kimberly is a strong individual that has always had a determination to succeed in everything she sets her mind to. “Facing challenges made me strong. It taught me that I can accomplish anything if I am willing to work hard for it.”
What three words describe your life? Kimberly replied, “Career-mom, grateful, busy.”