PASSION IN NURSING
TEAMWORK MAKES DREAM WORK: PARCWAY POST ACUTE
by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Selecting the right skilled nursing facility can be critical to your speedy recovery. Parcway Post Acute Recovery Center, located in Northwest Oklahoma City, OK offers a variety of therapies and care services to help you regain your independence.
Meet Tara Placker, LPN, and Staffing Director for Parcway where she has been a nurse for almost 3 years. Proud to be an Oklahoman, Tara was raised here, attending Platt College for her nursing career. “I really enjoy living in Oklahoman and my husband and I enjoy raising our 4 children here. I really can’t imagine living anywhere else,” she commented.
In your opinion, what qualities make a good nurse? “I think a good nurse has to have a lot of compassion for the patients. A lot of the patients at Parcway are coming here from just having surgery and they are feeling down and out. It is up to us to care for them, making them feel as comfortable as possible. Nurses also need a sense of knowledge; to help the patient and to answer to the doctors when they need us. The biggest thing a nurse needs is a heart of compassion,” Tara replied.
Tara’s favorite part of her job is the interaction she has with the patients. “When I am working the floors, I assist the CNA’s with the patient’s showers and getting them dressed, etc. It seems like that is when the patient wants to talk the most and they need someone to listen. The stories are full of history and the patient is eager to tell all, and we need to be ready to be their listener. I love the interaction between the patient and myself.”
How was it that you became interested in nursing? “I had never even thought about nursing until one day, I received a flyer in the mail about CNA/CMA classes at OSU-OKC. I thought it sounded interesting and decided to check it out. I ended up going to the classes and it was at that time, I knew that I wanted to become a nurse and take care of people. I am so happy that I am able to have a job allowing me to help others,” Tara said with a smile.
The biggest challenge that Tara finds with her job is also the interaction with some of the patients. “It can be very hard dealing with some of the patients from the mental health side or the fact that the patient is a Vietnam POW. There are not many situations like that but when there are, we are ready to help in any way we can,” she said.
Tara’s advice to someone going into the medical field would be to work hard and do it for the right reasons; to care for the patients and have a real desire to help others. “Don’t become a nurse if you plan on a 9-5 job because it doesn’t happen that way. Sometimes, the hours are long. Long hours and hard work, yet it is all worth it in the end,” Tara said.
According to Tara, her personality can be described as versatile. “When I am working with the patients, I am a happy, up beat nurse. I try to always lead by example and have a good attitude. When the coin is turned, I can be serious if I need to be,” Tara commented.
Tara’s hobbies include reading all kinds of books, novels and any and everything that keeps her interested in the first ten pages. “If the first ten pages keep me interested, I am sure to read it,” she said. “I also like to work 3D puzzles or any of those brain games.”
Tara is married and has 4 children; November 9, Lydia 5, Damien 4, and LilliAnn 1. “I love to spend time with my children and we always make it a family thing,” Tara said. “My children keep me going and I work hard to be the best mom I can.”
Teamwork is very important to Tara. “I feel like teamwork plays such an important part of being a nurse,” she said. “We need strong team players and that is what we have here at Parcway. We are all team players and I feel like teamwork is the building block to form a strong foundation. Once that foundation is built, no one can tear it down.”
Tara lives by these words of wisdom: Teamwork makes the dream work. Apparently, her words of wisdom live on with her and the staff at Parcway.