CAREERS IN NURSING
A COMFORTING SOUL: FOREST GLADE RETIREMENT
by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer
Rasheda Ehoro feels a sense of belonging at Forest Glade Retirement Community in Bethany. She said being an advanced certified medication aide is her calling.
“That’s what has me working with the elderly,” Ehoro said. “Each and every one of my residents have a different personality. We have some of the loveliest elderly ladies here. They are so grandmotherly like. And we have those who have that spit-fire with spunk in them. I love it. It’s beautiful and wonderful.”
Forest Glade Retirement Community is an assisted living with two separate communities for higher functioning residents or for those who need a higher acuity of care. Forest Glade encompasses 72 rooms while Park Lake has 38 rooms.
The residents themselves uplift Ehoro every day, she said. She said she looks forward to coming to work.
“I know whatever day I had in the beginning – when I come here I know that is going to be easily wiped away. Residents are there. They are funny and they have life stories. If I’m going through something and tell them that story, you better believe somebody has already been there and done that.”
Ehoro said one day she was having a petty disagreement with her husband leaving her confused. One of the ladies asked her, “What’s going on?”
Ehoro said she was trying to find the best resolution by being equal to both sides.
“And she said, ‘Oh honey. I’ve been there and done that.’ Sure enough, I took her advice and it works.”
Her inspiration for her career comes from her late mother who had been a registered nurse. She lost her mother and dad within two years.
“This is all I’ve kind of known. This has been my comfort,” she said. “Not only that but what I’ve seen and witnessed from my own family has made me want to research and study to learn more.”
She has been a ACMA for 10 years since graduating from Metro Technology Center. She joined the staff at Forest Glade a little more than a year ago.
“It’s a family environment from the residents to the employees,” Ehoro said. “From the administration, everybody has that general tone that we want to be here. We want to be together. We want to make this the best place for them and a nice experience for everybody that’s here.”
Administrator Karen Martinez said she is proud of the nursing staff because they are hands-on with the residents and the family members. They excel with communication between staff, residents and family members.
Forest Glade is also under new management, Martinez said.
“This group of people. The employees that we have come together and we don’t even have to ask for them to step up,” Martinez said. “There have been times when there was a need for more staff. We didn’t have to ask. They came to us and said this is what we’re going to do.”
The nursing staff is loyal to both the residents and to the company, she explained.
Ehoro said the staff has an understanding that they can always be supportive and talk about challenges whenever there is a problem.
“If there is a family member that is upset, we want to make sure they leave here happy,” Ehoro said. That’s what we want you to do when you leave Forest Glade. We want you to have peace of mind when you walk through those doors.”
Ehoro said her career is not perfect every day. It can be difficult, but at the end of the day she feels rewarded. It’s not easy seeing someone expire, she said. But she remembers her mother’s words, “You just can’t do this because you’re looking for money. To this you have to dedicate your life, your heart, your soul, your body. There are going to be days when you’re going to be tired, but you have to come through.”
When not working Ehoro is taking care of her family or shopping at her leisure. She is a mother of three children ages 9-3 who keep her busy and her life enriched. But she is also enriched by her work.
“It’s when I come in and I have a resident that says, ‘You know what? I’ve been waiting for you all day. I wondered if you were coming. I’m so happy to see you here.’ To hear one of my residents tell me, ‘I’m so happy you are here today,’ That lets me know that my job is done. For me I don’t need a certificate. I don’t need a trophy or a plaque. When I know my job is done is when my residents are saying, ‘I missed you.’”