Patricia Hair, LPN, and charge nurse at Warr Acres Nursing Center is grateful for the opportunities she receives helping others.


by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer

Patricia Hair doesn’t lack motivation to get out of bed to go to work in the morning as an LPN and charge nurse at Warr Acres Nursing Center.
Hair said being a workaholic makes her want to get up every morning and come to work. Another aspect is being at Warr Acres Nursing Center does not feel like a job to her.
“I’m amazed that they even pay me to do this,” she said. “So I would be doing this even if I wasn’t being paid for it.”
Every day the nursing staff arrives fresh at work to take care of the residents living at Warr Acres Nursing Center, Hair said.
“I mean this from the heart,” she said. “You’ll have your one or two who come in every now and then and they are just going to have a bad day, and we all do that. But for the most part they’re here to take care of the people that live here.”
Hair admires this quality because she is someone who has long been concerned about the welfare of others.
A graduate of Francis Tuttle, Hair has been a licensed practical nurse for almost 16 years. This is her seventh month on the nursing staff at Warr Acres.
She worked three years in a an Oklahoma City hospital, but has spent the rest of the time working in a long-term care setting.
Two things keep her in long-term care, she said, and they’re polar opposites. One reason is the elderly are not necessarily sick when residing in the nursing home.
“The people in the hospital are the people that you read about in the books. So I think my chances of catching something are less in a nursing home than in a hospital,” Hair said. “The other reason is I’ve always had a passion for the elderly.”
Even when Hair was a child, she would talk to older people and learn from them. Older people would tell her a story and she would be enthralled with trust and belief.
Nurse talk was also something that was part of her family life. Her older brother was a nurse and three of her aunts had careers as registered nurses.
Her older brother was director of nursing at a Bethany nursing home when Hair was merely 16. One day he came home and said, “Patricia come up here and help me take care of these older people.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to do that.’
“And he said, ‘Well, come on and help me anyway.’ So I went and helped him and I just loved that part of the business ever since.”
Today, she sees in the nursing home residents a little bit of her own future. Hair said she realizes as one time the residents were young. They had families and homes. They had to purchase homes for their growing families, she added.
“And then they had to sell a home because everybody was gone,” Hair said. “They didn’t need all of that space. And then a lot of their life has been spent in their room. What I see in these residents is my future.”
She has helped hundreds of people during her nursing career. Once and a while a moment sticks with her. Hair said she has had a myriad of opportunities to help families and to help the residents as they are passing or they are going home.
“We have those that go home and they come back and visit,” she said.
Hair said she is geared toward making sure the families are coping alright. Even when taking good care of the resident, she also is helping family members by doing the best job she can, Hair explained.
“On my hall today, for the last few weeks, I have a resident in decline. And she is going to be passing before too long,” Hair said. “And the family is having a very hard time with it and they’re just now coming to grip the idea that their mother may not get well. She may not come home.”
The family came to visit their mother and Hair asked them to let her photograph them with their mother. At first they were resistant. But Hair said to them that they may later want to have the photograph.
“And they agreed,” she said. “So I took a picture for them.”
Hair likes to picture herself during her spare time doing what she likes best. She digs her hands into the good earth as a gardener.
“And I paint,” she said. “And I go to the casino. That’s what I do outside of my home.”