Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snowed In: One Facility's Story of Care
This winter has been unforgiving for many communities across the United States: back-to-back snowstorms in New England, blizzards in the Midwest, and wind gusts as strong as 77 miles per hour in the Southern Plains. When weather like this sweeps through, skilled nursing caregivers and facility administrators have one thing on their mind: the safety of their community, including patients and residents in LTC facilities.

For many, emergency conditions mean scarcity: not just of resources, but of staff as well. But for one facility in Missouri, deep in the heart of a winter blizzard, the emergency meant an abundance: abundance of staff, of commitment, and determination to keep providing the best care possible.

Misty Brooks, administrator of Medicalodges, Butler, in Butler, MO, arrived at her facility at 6:00am. Not because that was when her shift started, but because she wanted to prepare a pancake breakfast for her staff. During the second Snow Emergency of the season, many of Misty's colleagues, including caregivers, LPNs, and DONs, had been sleeping at the facility to ensure that residents had everything they needed to stay safe, nourished, and cared for. 

Armed with food, beverages, and some treats, Misty was prepared to handle whatever came her way. After working several shifts in a row, she was certain staff numbers would drop as people returned to their homes. Instead, Misty was surrounded by men and women who were staying on, some for the third shift straight. The maintenance manager brought his son to the facility with him at 5:30 that morning to get the sidewalks shoveled and safe for residents and staff. The facility was committed to staying open, staying safe, and keeping care at the top of the priority.

As Misty wrote in an email to Fred Benjamin, COO of Medicalodges, after he commended her for her commitment to the facility:

"I really get [emotionally] moved on occasions like this. It is a warm feeling to see everyone gathered around the staffing schedule and seeing where they can help. There is a feeling in the building on days like this that is indescribable. There is no question about how much everyone loves our residents!"

Has your staff gone above and beyond to care for residents?  Share your story with us!

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