PASSION IN NURSING
SKILLED NURSING: KEEPING IT ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Epworth Villa Skilled Nursing has earned a reputation for outstanding nursing and therapy care. Medicare covers skilled care following a 3 night stay in the hospital, when patients need a short term nursing and rehabilitation. Their licensed nursing and therapy team’s work together to develop a coordinated plan of care specifically for each patient. If you or a loved one wishes to use their services after a hospitalization, let your hospital case manager know that Epworth Villa is your choice. They will work together to make sure they can meet your needs.
One of the nurses that you will find working at Epworth Villa on the skilled nursing floor is Cassie Henry, LPN. Cassie has been at Epworth Villa for 5 years now. “I love my job,” she said. “In the beginning, I worked here in the assisted living unit as a CNA, then at Mercy Clinic here. That is when I went to school, going for my RN. When I came back here, I am presently working on the skilled nursing floor,” she said. “I like all of the residents that I have gotten to know.”
Growing up in Oklahoma, Cassie attended Canadian Valley Vo-tech. “I have wanted to be a nurse ever since I was a little girl. I remember helping take care of my grandparents. Gosh, that was so long ago,” she said. “I grew up on a farm, so naturally, we had lot of animals. I remember helping as much as I could. There was something special about taking care of all the animals that we had. I remember caring for them and taking care of them.”
What qualities make a good nurse? “Well, naturally, I would say that a nurse needs to be compassionate, understanding with good work ethics, but most of all, be patient.”
What is your favorite part about working at Epworth Villa? “I love the way that I can have direct contact with the residents. I like spending time with the residents whether it is to talk to them or to work with them. Bless their hearts. They have so many stories to share.”
What is the most challenging about your job? “I think it would be the lack of confidence on some of the residents so we say, we can do it! We try to keep the residents healthy and happy. That is our main concern,” she said. “I usually see 8-12 residents and each one with their own little personality,” she said with a laugh.
Cassie’s typical day stays pretty busy. “The resident can stay from 10 to 100 days depending on their medical situations and what their family wants them to do.”
Looking ahead, Cassie sees herself being here at Epworth Villa in 5 years. “Why would I ever leave a job that I love so much?” she asked. “Actually there are a lot of people here that have been here a lot longer than me. I love the skilled nursing residents, and I actually prefer this type work over the clinic work that I used to do. As the populations grow, I will still like this age group.”
Speaking to Cassie, she tells me how she is married to Curtis and enjoys spending time with him and their three daughters; Harley 15, Cheyenne, 12 and Hannah, 10. Their family likes to ride along the jeep trails, plus time remodeling their house and working on cars. “Yes, I grew up working around the house, repairing different things. I can work on cars just as well as the other person and proud of it!”
Cassie sums up her job in one word. “Busy,” she said. “Of course, that is not a bad thing,” she added. “Between my jobs, my family and a little remodeling on the house, (a lot of remodeling on the house) we have several pets; three Pit Bulls, one Yorkie, one mini Australian Shepherd, one Guinee pig and three fish.”
“The main point of my job is keeping my heart focused on the residents, making them feel loved and wanted. I grew up treating everyone the way I wanted to be treated, with compassion and love. I think that is what a lot of these residents want and I wasn’t to be a part of that,” Cassie said. “I just like to keep my conversations with them on a lighter side, let them know that I will be there to take care of them and if they need a laugh, I will try.”