Tammy Garwood, one of Danbury’s newest LPNs, joined the Broadview Heights Community in May. After directing nursing services at a facility for developmentally disabled adults for several years, Tammy is excited to transition back to her first love–floor nursing–by focusing on the immediate needs of residents in the assisted living wing.
Tammy spends a typical day (“typical” used lightly, of course) ensuring that residents are receiving medication and other care, listening to their issues and concerns, and gathering information to solve problems. But her job is about so much more than meeting medical needs: “Every little thing is important to them,” Tammy says, “whether it be medical, relational, or something not working in their apartment.”
Because of Danbury’s integrated approach to senior care, the community naturally takes on a warm and inviting atmosphere. “You don't even feel like you're working all the time,” Tammy says, “because the atmosphere is like a family environment. I’ve worked in a nursing home situation before, and it’s so much more enjoyable to be in a place that’s not institutionalized. You actually feel like you’re in apartments and fancy hallways. It feels more like home.”
Tammy describes Danbury as a relaxing place where residents shower her with smiles and thank you’s as she does the special “little things” for them that make them feel like family. And the caring extends to management, who keep an open door policy for the staff, always listening for ways to improve the community: “They really want their staff to see that they do care and that everyone is included.” From staff luncheons to resident picnics, all team members are invited to join in and enjoy the relationships. Nurses are always willing to help each other, crossing into different areas of the community when emergency strikes. Everyone works as a team.
One of Tammy’s favorite parts of her job is seeing how a small action can make a significant impact. She recalls a daughter recently expressing her appreciation for Tammy’s helping the family stay on top of medication, one of the most serious, and challenging, parts of caring for aging parents. With a newborn on the scene, the family began to feel overwhelmed. Tammy took the initiative to organize and maintain medication schedules and refills, establishing a system and continuity that helped the father, and the whole family, tremendously. “It’s a good feeling to help the person and their family,” Tammy says, “supporting them to understand the medical issues going on with their loved one. You’re the eyes and ears for the physician, since you spend the majority of the time with the residents. Caring for the patients as well as their family members is one of the most rewarding parts of being nurse.”
What advice does Tammy have for aspiring LPN’s? “Don’t be afraid to do that extra. You don’t have to always follow the job description when you can go beyond.”
Learn more about how you can apply to be an LPN at one of our Danbury Senior Living locations by exploring our current postings.