Cami Penney, LPN, has encouraging words about being a nurse. Admires the strength nurses had during the pandemic.

by James Coburn – staff writer

Being a nurse makes Cami Penney, LPN, feel good about herself at the end of the day.
“You know you’ve done the best you could and you’ve helped somebody any way you could,” Penney said.
When she was hired at Golden Age Nursing Facility in March, she brought her caring spirit with her.
“I liked taking care of my grandparents so it just kind of stuck with me,” she said.
As a young girl she wanted to become a veterinarian. Penney wanted to do something in the medical field as she grew older.
Penney became a nurse six years ago after graduating from Central Technology Center, located in Drumright. She worked six years at another nursing home following her graduation and has worked in long-term care and skilled nursing ever since.
During her career she has primarily worked in long-term care and skilled nursing. She served as a CNA at Golden Age starting 12 years ago before enrolling in nursing school.
CNAs are the legs nurses stand on, she said. CNAs are under supervision to do most of the hands-on patient care. An alert CNA can help nurses detect minor or major changes in a patient’s stability. (story continues below)


“They are very hard workers and it’s a tough job,” she said. “It’s probably tougher than being an LPN, so I admire their strength and dedication, and they’re all great here.”
CNAs help patients to get out of their beds and assist them in getting clean and dry after showering. They may assist with brushing teeth and hair and make sure the residents are fed. What most people can do for themselves, the CNA does it for the residents. They fit well into the culture at Golden Age.
“I think just about anybody could fit in here,” Penney said.
Many days spent at Golden Age have touched her heart, especially when COVID reached its high infection rates across Oklahoma.
“When COVID happened and when they first started letting families come visit outside the window — it made me cry the first time they got to see their families,” Penney said.
She admires the strength nurses had during the pandemic. It has taken a lot of strength for those nurses to remain in their careers, she said.
“There were a lot of times I thought about finding a different career, but I could never do it. But it makes you want to, sometimes. It’s tough, and I admire anybody that can stick with it, especially through COVID,” she explained.
COVID rates have been dwindling in the state, but Penney said that she can’t help but wonder if another high wave of infections will happen again.
“But I’m glad to see admissions coming back and staff coming back,” Penney said. “Everything is kind of getting back to normal.”
Penney said she has never been one to job-hop. She loved the previous nursing home she was at, she said.
“But now that I’m here. I really just see myself here,” she said of her future.
It doesn’t take long to recognize that the family atmosphere between the staff and residents is a recipe for personal satisfaction and career growth at Golden Age. Nurses at Golden Age have a love for their patients and dedication to care for them daily.
Her return to Golden Age was a golden opportunity.
“I love it here,” Penney said. “They had the shift I needed. I was doing 12-hour shifts and I couldn’t do that anymore. Here they offer eight-hour shifts. Everybody is so nice. I’ve never had any problems with anybody. All the staff is great. They all welcomed me when I started — nobody got irritated with all my questions. Everybody is really helpful.”
Nurses do one-on-one mentoring education and have nursing in-services once a month. The nurses and their assistants do a lot of charting to document how much assistance is needed to care for each individual patient.
Seeing patients recover during their time spent in skilled nursing is a plus for Penney, she continued. It is a special moment for Penney when her efforts in the skilled nursing unit result in the restoration of a patient’s health.
“You actually get to see them and help them get better and go home, so I enjoy doing that a lot,” she said.
Penney makes a point to get to know the newest arrivals at Golden Age. This gives her an opportunity to learn about their preferences.
“Usually, it doesn’t take long for them to loosen up to you,” she said. “You get to know them pretty quick. I’ve had people tell me about when they were a baby and their parents warmed them with a stove, or the time when they flew a jet in World War II.”
Penney is making her own mark in enjoying life.
“I’m outdoors a lot. I do a lot of hunting and fishing. I spend a lot of time at the (Cimarron) River. I catch all kinds of stuff.”
For more information on Golden Age Nursing Home