Aiza Temur embraces a nursing career that brightens days during challenging times.

by James Coburn – staff writer

Working in a nursing home involves more than skill.
“Every day you give your heart to these people. It’s something that I think is important,” said Aiza Temur, a registered nurse at Golden Age Nursing Home, located in Guthrie.
Love crosses oceans. Temur graduated from nursing school in the Philippines in 2007. Two years later she passed an exam to qualify her for working in the United States. She moved to Turkey in 2011 where she did an internship, however her husband agreed with her that it would be preferable to move to the US. Six months ago, a direct hiring agency assisted her in finding a nursing home for employment.
“I matched with Golden Age and that’s why I’m here,” she said.
Her flexibility in life eased the cultural shock of moving from Ankara, Turkey to the slower pace of Guthrie. To her surprise, her two children and husband found their niche and didn’t become bored in town.  (story continues below)

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“When they came here, they loved Guthrie,” Temur said. “My son who goes to Fogarty Elementary, he joined the scouts. He’s very active in school. He wasn’t like this when we were in Turkey. He’s very excited to go to school. It’s just a different environment. The people are so friendly.”
Temur is a people-person. She is from a family of six siblings with five of them being nurses. They influenced her choice to begin her nursing career in a nursing home. And long-term care offers a rewarding experience of developing relationships with residents by showing care. She is grateful to help people who need her the most.
Golden Age made her feel at home with an extended family of friends and co-workers, Temur said. The company assisted her in finding a furnished apartment and lent her a car to use for a few months. They also helped her find a house to live in.
“Every time we needed help, they were always there to help us, and I’m very grateful for that,” she continued.
Temur didn’t feel the struggles that other nurses experience when coming to the US., she said. Temur spoke English very well before coming to Oklahoma and adjusted gracefully to the regional accent that differentiates from other parts of the country.
Her communication skills are enhanced by her listening skills and compassionate heart. One of her residents had not been visited by her family for a long time. Temur noticed the woman appeared sad and withdrawn.
“So, every time I go to her room to do my treatments, I always make sure that I stay for five minutes to chat with her,” she said. “And then she told me, ‘I was very depressed for a long time for not being able to see my family, and I always look forward when you come to my room, and we get to chat for a few minutes.’”
Temur said nurses can impact lives by giving an extra five minutes of their time to ease the loneliness of others. Being a nurse enables her to brighten somebody’s days. Residents enjoy reminiscing about their families and highlighting decades of life. Being a nurse allows her to learn something new in life every day.
She believes in the integrity of the nursing staff, knowing that they are dedicated to treat residents the way they would want their own family to be loved and respected.
Melissa Collins, CMA/CNA said she loves the family environment at Golden Age.
“I grew up here. My mother and my grandma worked here as a CNA. My mother still works here as a CNA,” Collins said. “I started at the age of 16 working every weekend. When I graduated, I came to work here full-time. I’ve been here ever since.”
Many familiar faces like Collins become a welcome sight for residents. Long-term care has become a place where people can live life at their personal best.
“We help them with their everyday lives,” Temur tells her son.
She explains to her son that Golden Age is not a hospital, but a home.
“It’s their place, it’s their house. That’s how I explain it,” she said.
Her children know that their mother works at a place that helps people with their daily lives. Positivity is the No. 1 characteristic a nurse needs in long-term care, she said.
“You need a smile and be ready all the time to greet the residents because with the pandemic, and with their families not being able to come here as often, it’s really difficult for them,” Temur said. “And I’m thinking that they probably think that we are the family that they have here.”
Temur would like the public to know that Golden Age is a place where loved ones will be well taken care of.
“The care that is provided residents is at a professional level,” she said.
Residents have a say about the food menu. They socialize with activities and have choices in life.
“It feels very homey, she said.