by James Coburn, Staff Writer
Nurses represent the very best of the American workforce. But it takes somebody like MeLissa Wilson to lead the best while serving as director of nursing at Bradford Village. She leads a staff of nurses willing to go the extra mile for the safety of residents.
“I’ve learned in this business, it’s not really about the building. It’s about your team,” she said. “If you have a great leadership team, it says everything.” (story continues below)
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Wilson was a real trooper staying overnight at the Edmond home during a recent storm that brought 14 inches of snowfall and record low temperatures to the community of senior residents.
“We are definitely dedicated,” Wilson said during the rare arctic blizzard. “In fact, myself, I stayed over last night and will probably stay over tonight just to make sure we have adequate care on the floor.”
Wilson has been with Bradford for about six months of her 16-year career. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and went on to receive her MSHM.
It makes a big difference to have nurses who work well together in harmony serving patients’ daily needs. They all have challenges but adhere to best practices they implement together for patient care. The bottom line is that the nursing staff stands for patient care
Patients may have a high acuity of needs or even need something simple like a phone charger to help their days go better, especially when separated from their loved ones during a pandemic.
“That kind of symbolizes what we’re all about. Whatever it is, somebody somewhere is going to make our patient happy,” Wilson said.
Nurses care for one another as well. During the snowstorm nurses responded by picking each other up for work when needed. Some of the nurses living close to Bradford Village offered their homes to staff members for a safe haven.
“Just so we can all work together and help each other at the facility,” Wilson said.
The nurses at Bradford Village’s building where Wilson work offer skilled nursing and long-term care. There are currently 32 skilled patients and 48 long-term care residents. Some of the skilled unit patients ultimately transfer to long-term care if their acuity of care does not allow family to care for them at home.
“Some of them wish to just stay here,” she said.
Five registered nurses are employed at Bradford with the majority of the floor staff being LPNs.
Nurses have been known to volunteer to pick-up a resident’s favorite cheeseburger for lunch or dinner whenever asked.
“You can just see the outward appearance of the nursing staff’s care when walking down the hall,” she said. “It’s very rewarding to see that out of my staff.”
A lot of the patients in the rehabilitation unit are recovering from a hip fracture. One of the female patients was downtrodden because she suffered a second fracture of her hip and needed assistance to get from the bed to a chair.
Wilson took charge of the woman’s care during the snowstorm. Additional time was needed to help the woman.
“At the end of it she just hugged my neck and said, ‘Thank you. You were here for a purpose. God put you here for me,’” Wilson said. “And it just warmed my heart because that’s why we do this. I don’t do a lot of direct patient care, but just the acknowledgement that it meant something to her. That’s why we do what we do.”
Wilson’s main focus to pursue nursing occurred when her mother was losing a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She saw her mother go through multiple treatments and wanted to provide and assist her mother with her health care in ways of just being her daughter.
“I wanted to know,” Wilson said. “And so, she pushed me. I wanted to know more during the last few years of her life. She pushed me to go to nursing school and that’s why I became a nurse.”
In fact, many of her family members are nurses, including her husband, mother-in-law, and sister have chosen the profession.
Nursing offers a wide array of choices for one’s career. Wilson has worked in hospitals and clinics, but geriatric care is where she found her calling, she said.
“You get to be part of a journey,” she said.
Hospital nurses give their patients as much healing care as possible during their time with patients, Wilson said.
“When a long-term patient comes to us, it’s a journey. It’s a journey for them to live here as best as their last days allow,” Wilson said. “It’s a privilege to be part of that.”