Angela Grants says being an LPN comes naturally to her at Wildewood Skilled Nursing and Rehab.

by James Coburn – staff writer

Angela Grant will celebrate her sixth year as and LPN in February. The licensed practical nurse serves as a charge nurse at Wildewood Skilled Services and Rehab, located in Oklahoma City.
She joined the military and was soon deployed in Iraq with the idea of becoming an Army nurse. Grant graduated from nursing school in Savannah, Ga., after having too many interruptions separating her dream from fruition. She had been away from her native Oklahoma and longed to return to home. (story continues below)


“My grandmother had been an LPN working in a hospital. It’s something that was natural and runs in my blood,” Grant said.
Wildewood Skilled Services and Rehab is her place to be. She has a natural affinity with the elderly population of adults, finding them a lot of fun and a source of wisdom to learn from. They share their valuable life lessons.
“When my parents get to the age where they can’t take care of themselves, and I’ll take care of them, also. So, I enjoy what I do,” she said.
Grant also appreciates working with other members of the nursing staff with common values about being a nurse. She served as a CNA for two years and understands and admires her coworkers for the teamwork they invest to improve the health of others.
“They pitch in and help out on the floors with the residents,” said Grant, who leads with inspiration as a charge nurse. “I lead as an example by letting the aides know any time to come to me and I’ll help them with anything, changing the residents and being with the residents, anything I can help them with. I’ll tell them to work together and if they need help in the hall to let me know about anything, so they are aware of that. I talk to them like human beings — all of my aides — treat them with respect and the nurses, too.”
Having served as a nurse aide taught Grant to have an empathetic ear in all aspects of nursing. Everybody is different, she said. People need to be respected individually as a person in order to understand their needs. Grant seasoned her experience by working for the Veterans Administration in Norman for two years before joining the folks at Wildewood. Home health taught her a lot, she continued. She felt comfortable when coming to Wildewood and has stayed ever since. Grant helps orient newly hired staff by taking them room to room to familiarize them with each resident. She tells them what the different elders like and don’t like.
“They all have their own personality and do’s and don’ts as a person,” she continued.
Grant’s calm demeaner is an important trait when introducing residents to their new home. They learn about their choices such as food and drinks according to their pleasure.
“I spend a little time to get to know them,” she added. “I ask where they came from, and they talk to me back. I get them to talk to me as able as they can.”
Families help the nursing staff become aquatinted with their loved ones by sharing what they enjoyed doing at home. She learns how residents responded new environments before, such as being a hospital patient. Wildewood Skilled Nursing Services and Rehab offers a continuity of care to familiarize the nursing staff with residents.
“We can be their family. Family might be out of state or have passed on themselves,” Grant said. “We are their family. That’s how it can be sometimes.”
The resident population is becoming younger at Wildewood Skilled Nursing and Rehab, Grant said. Some have been in their 20s. Some people live with birth defects or have experienced accidents.
“You have to be flexible and patient to deal with 30 residents — their personalities — you have to be that way,” she continued. “It makes their job easier to get on their level, respect them and get them happy.”
Church services are available with a preacher on Sundays. Families will sometimes take their loved one to church off campus. And recreational activities including the singing of songs will further instill a sense of community, Grant explained.
“I call it the club. They listen to Elvis and a little James Brown in their time here. They love it. You sing to it and start dancing. They think it’s funny and they love it, and they’ll smile. They’ll clap their hands sometimes.”
A back yard offers a secure location for residents wanting to spend time outdoors. They enjoy the sunlight, barbeque and fresh air. Residents make new friends and greet Grant when she comes to work. They ask where she has been after her day off. But for Grant, it feels nice to be missed.