by James Coburn – Writer/Photographer
Gina Hyde says she has an awesome team at Tuscany Village Nursing Center where she serves as director of nursing at the Oklahoma City facility.
“I think for me what I look for is great communication and teamwork,” she said. “I’ve worked for agencies and other facilities part time. What draws me to stay here is I’ve never seen an administrator at other places that comes out of their office to do floor work. Sometimes people don’t even know who the administrator is. This does not happen at Tuscany Village and that for me speaks volumes.”
Tuscany Village is a spacious facility that opened six years ago. Hyde said Tuscany focuses on being a family oriented nursing center with a loving environment that puts its residents at the top of its priorities.
“We are a family of employees here,” she continued. “We treat our residents as family. They are family and are all like grandparents. We definitely work together as a team. It’s not ‘I’. It’s team playing. We give constructive criticism. We believe in growth. We believe in moving forward and we’re not stagnant. As things go forward, we go forward with it. We’re all about providing safe care.”
Tuscany Village is a long-term and a skilled facility that is comprised of four long-term halls and skilled a unit. Skilled unit patients may choose to have their rehab done at Tuscany before they transition back to their communities.
“If they decide the community is not an option for them, then they transition over to long-term care,” Hyde said.
The residents live in a home where nurses each have their individual strengths to combine for the greater good to make the facility strong. What one lacks, another nurse has strength in, Hyde said.
“When one is lacking in something, they can go to the other and say, ‘Can you help me with it?’ They help each other out, so that’s what I like about it. They’re very good,” she said. “They communicate with each other.”
Hyde tells new nurses coming to Tuscany Village that one thing they can count on is a safe environment at work.
“I let them know that money is not everything. You may go to a place that offers you more money, but then you’re not in a safe environment. That’s what it is about. If you can practice safely and know your license is not in jeopardy. You want to come in and say, ‘Hey, I love working.’ You don’t want to come in and say, ‘Oh, it’s a job and I can’t wait to clock out.’ You know your eight hours is going to be eight hours where it’s meaningful.
“You can have residents with a smile on their face and you’re happy to be here. You know at the end of the day, you did something great. You can go home and rest peacefully, and then you can’t wait to come back the next day and know your license is good. You practiced safely. The residents are safe.”
Hyde said that long-term care was not her initial aspiration as a nurse. But when she moved to Oklahoma from New York, Hyde worked as a housekeeper at St. Anthony Hospital in midtown Oklahoma City. She worked as a housekeeper in a surgical unit and also in labor and delivery.
“I wanted to do labor and delivery,” Hyde said. “When I went to LPN school, we did our clinicals. My last rotation was working in a nursing home and I was like, ‘I really do like this.’”
Hyde earned her associate’s degree in nursing at Platt College before receiving her bachelor’s degree at Kaplan University. Her nursing career has always focused on the geriatric population during her nine years in the profession.
The first job she had was working in a nursing home and she realized long-term care is where she needed to be. It is her calling, she said. Five years of her nursing career have been at Tuscany Village.
At first she was a floor nurse, but after six months Hyde was offered the MDS position. At first she was hesitant to become the MDS coordinator, she was offered the position of director of nursing.
“When I made a trip back home a few years ago and I had to take care of my grandmother and help my dad and his family go through the dying process with her, it kind of clicked in me,” she said. “This is where I was meant to be because I helped them through that process of her passing.”