by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Brookdale Home Health understands how important it is to help seniors maintain an independent lifestyle. When someone needs healthcare at home, Brookdale Home Health is an excellent option. Their professionals include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and rehabilitation therapists. The services: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Skilled Nursing and Speech Therapy are offered to the patients in the comfort of their own home.
Meet Linda Heard, RN, case manager. Linda is a pleasant individual that enjoys her work. With a sense of humor to match her smile, she tells me that she has a great sense of humor. “The seniors always laugh at my jokes,” she said. “I like to be happy and I like to make others happy,” she added.
“I am one of the nurses here at Brookdale Home Health. I get assigned to different patients to go to their home, taking care of them, she said. “I usually see from 20-30 patients a day, visiting them at their home. I see the patients a few times a week, and then, depending on their situation, continue seeing them until they no longer need the home health care.”
Oklahoma is nothing new to Linda. “I grew up here. Well, not here in Oklahoma City but not too far away. I grew up in the small town of Vinita, OK. I went to nursing school for my LPN in Afton, OK, my RN in Miami, OK and last, but certainly not least I got my Bachelors at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, OK. I have been a nurse since 1979. I have worked with Brookdale Home Health for about a year now. I really like my job and enjoy everyone here at the office,” she said.
Asking Linda if she wanted to be a nurse when she grew up, she replied, “It’s kind of funny, it seems like when I was growing up, all of the little girls wanted to be a teacher or a nurse, she laughed. “Back then, it seemed like those were the only two jobs available for us women. How times have changed.”
Linda tells about her grandmother and how she was the one of the first LPN’s in Vinita Oklahoma. Linda also has a sister that is a nurse in Tulsa, OK. “I’m sure that between the two of them, they both had an influence on me becoming a nurse.”
What qualities do you think make a good nurse? I ask Linda. “Well, first of all, I think one has to have good nursing skills and they need to be a good listener. They also shouldn’t mind touching the patient and being touched. A lot of the older patients need that touch at times. I think the person needs to have a real passion for others,” Linda answered.
When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Linda replied, “First of all, taking care of seniors is something that I really like to do. The seniors are very interesting and they tell me all about their past. Even the ones with dementia have such an interesting background. Also, the seniors are funny. They make me laugh and I make them laugh and we are good for each other.”
Linda’s biggest challenge in her job is when the family members don’t accept the fact that their loved one has dementia or a chronically ill disease. It’s really tough to take care of a patient and tell the family members something they don’t want to hear or accept.”
Describing herself, Linda says that she is a funny person and has a great sense of humor. “I am a very happy person and I laugh a lot. Perhaps, laughter is the best medicine,” she smiled. “My best quality is the fact that I am an honest person. I wouldn’t lie about that,” she laughed.
Linda likes to spend time with her husband and their 8 grandchildren. When I asked what her hobby was, she said, “That IS my hobby. I love spending time with my family and grandchildren.”
The goal of Brookdale Home Health is to initiate the patient’s care within 24 hours. By developing an individual plan under the direct supervision of a physician, the best possible outcomes for those in their care. Their Care, Your Peace of Mind.