by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Lyndale is a community of cottages, independent living and assisted living apartments located in the sought-after town of Edmond. Operated by Sagora Senior Living, Lyndale’s philosophy is to place their residents first by following through with Sagora’s core values of commitment, communication, empowerment and excellence.
Meet Stephenie Burleson, LPN, Residents Services Director at Lyndale Senior Living in Edmond, OK. She has been a nurse for eight years and has been with Lyndale for two years.
Stephenie grew up in a small, two-story farm house. Living with her single mom, she was the oldest of four children; a protector of her siblings, the little mom, the nurturer of the family. At fifteen years old, she actually delivered her baby brother when her mother could not get to the hospital in time. The ambulance was called and it took two more calls after that for them to believe it wasn’t a prank phone call. “I was so scared but I knew it was up to me. I did it though and everything was fine,” Stephenie said. Also, at that time, my grandparents moved into a senior home, so from that point forward, I felt like I needed to be an advocate for seniors and wanted to become a nurse, focusing on geriatrics,” she added.
What is your favorite part about your job? “I love getting to see the residents smile every day. They have so much to say; the stories they tell about their experiences. The residents are fun. We are like one big family,” she said.
What qualities make a good nurse? “A nurse needs to have plenty of compassion. They need to be knowledgeable and they need to have a heart for caring for others,” she replied.
When asking Stephenie to describe herself, she said, “I’m known as a lifetime learner which means I can’t get enough of learning! I just want to learn everything I can about everything. I wear my heart on my sleeve much of the time but that’s just me. I am loyal to my friends and I am committed to everything I do, following through with whatever it may be. My daily goal is to learn something new every day and that just makes me want to continue on and on. I love learning.”
Stephenie is motivated by being thankful for everything the Lord has blessed her with. “I know I owe it all to the Lord above and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t tell Him thank-you for the many blessings.”
What advice would you give to someone going into the medical field? “I would tell them they have to start small; start from the bottom up. Learn as much as you can. I plan on going back to school in the near future and learning more and advancing my career. I would also tell them that the hands-on-hands learning is one of the best things they can do. It teaches you so much. I would tell them not to be afraid to try something new. You will be a better nurse all the way around and most important, continue learning, learning, learning,” she replied.
With Stephenie living in Choctaw, OK means a little bit of a drive to Edmond every day but loving her job makes it well worth it. When not working at Lyndale, Stephenie enjoys spending time with her two sons Kaleb – 16 and Cameron – 12. “I bring my sons to Lyndale a lot and the residents love it. I definitely try to do the right things and be an example to my sons,” she said.
Stephenie has quite a few hobbies that she enjoys. She loves doing anything outdoors, especially gardening; flowers and vegetable gardens. “I like shopping and I enjoy decorating and I am really into interior design. Most of all, I like spending time with my family and friends.”
Did you have any mentors while you were in school? “Yes, I had a Science teacher at Prague High School and her name was Charlene Wiseman. She taught me a lot about life itself. She inspired me to keep setting goals and reaching them. She was a wonderful educator and I will never forget what a great teacher she was,” Stephenie said with a smile. “She has passed away now but I know I will never forget her.”
Stephenie summed up her life in one word? Without a pause, she said with a smile, “EXHILARATING.”
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