CAREERS IN NURSING: A DESIRE TO CARE – THE TIMBERS SKILLED NURSING AND THERAPY
by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
The Timbers Skilled Nursing & Therapy is a nursing home facility located in Edmond, OK. Nursing home facilities are for elderly people with chronic health conditions or injuries that require long-term care, constant monitoring and 24-hour-a-day availability of doctors, nurses and health care aides. -The Timbers Skilled Nursing and Therapy-
Natalie Fulton, LPN is the charge nurse and skilled nursing manager at The Timbers Skilled Nursing and Therapy, located in Edmond OK. Always with a desire to work with elder people, Natalie has a real passion for the geriatric population. Along with a true love from the heart, her compassion for others seems to shine.
Born in Marion, Indiana, Natalie moved to Oklahoma when she was four years old due to her dad getting transferred regarding his job. Her early childhood days were spent growing up among the beautiful countryside of the Talimena area. Nature and its beautiful wonders have always played a big part in Natalie’s life.
Graduating from Okmulgee Green Country Technology Center, Natalie was eager to begin her career as a nurse. “That was almost twenty years ago,” she said. When I asked her what her first job as a nurse was, she said, “My first job was working at Hospice Loving Care in Shawnee, OK. I enjoyed the older generation even then,” she said with a smile.
Asking Natalie what the favorite thing about her job is, she replied; “It is when I take care of the patient and they just want me to listen to them; whether it is telling the same story that I have heard over and over or just sitting down with them and holding their hand. I guess that is part of my passion; being with them whether we say anything or not. Sometimes, the patient has so much to say, yet they can’t seem to get the words out. That is why I am their voice and their advocate when I need to be.”
Did anyone influence you to be a nurse? “No, it was just something that I knew I wanted to do. I applied for a CNA position right out of high school. I got a job right away and from then, I just wanted to further myself even more.” Natalie feels like her biggest contribution to The Timbers is her experience and knowledge. I really don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t a nurse. This is my life. When I get to work each morning, it is such a delight to see the patients,” she replied. “Each one of them is very special to me,” she added.
When Natalie is not working at The Timbers, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and her precious granddaughter, Cohen, who is seventeen months old. “In fact, it was May 2019 when I moved to Oklahoma City to be closer to my daughter. I moved here, applied for a job and started working right away. I would say it has been a great move so far.”
Asking Natalie to describe herself, she replied, “I am a very compassionate person and a hard worker. I make sure the job is done the right way. I am loving and considerate of others feelings. I have an outgoing personality yet I am a little high strung at times which can be a problem. I’m working on that,” she laughed.
What qualities do you think make a good nurse? “Definitely a nurse needs to have plenty of patience. A nurse needs to be compassion and genuinely care for others. A nurse needs to be a great listener and be willing to change a schedule at the last minute. If you roll all of these qualities into one, you have a nurse; a very rewarding job,” Natalie replied.
I asked Natalie if she had received any awards or achievements in the last few years. “I was Employment of the Month at one of the nursing facilities that I worked at and I was honored by being the Assistant Director of Nursing for the Year at a facility I worked at in McCloud, OK.
Natalie’s goal is to continue making a difference in others’ lives. “I want to hold on to the hope for the patients that I take care of,” she said. “I am doing what I love.”
Asking Natalie to sum up her life in one word, she paused for a minute and said, “My word is HAPPY. I try to stay happy all the time.”