I was raised by nurses.

I can’t remember who in my family was not a nurse or a nurse assistant. My first experience in a nursing home was when I was 14 years old.

My Aunt June decided to take me to work with her for a week in the summer. I didn’t appreciate going in at 4 a.m., but that was when she went to work. Frankly, I don’t remember much more than visiting with residents and passing out snacks.

What I remember most was the feeling I had every time I went there. It felt like home. I remember laughing and an easiness in living.

As I was growing into an adult I thought I’d like to go to nursing school.

I worked as a nurse’s assistant, laundry, housekeeping, kitchen, and then my life took a different turn and I landed in a more administrative role and with different levels of care.

I’ve worked in residential and assisted living. I’ve worked in long term care with severely abused and neglected children. Then I found my passion in skilled care.

I’ve developed an appreciation for anyone who makes their career in long term care.

Who wouldn’t want long, hard hours on your feet and days where it feels like you have been at a dead run? I stopped asking, ‘Why do we do this?’

I’ve learned that when we are here we have that same feeling I had as a child. We feel good here. It feels like home. Every once in a while I stop working and I just listen. I hear people visiting on the front porch. I hear music in the dining room. I hear children excited to see grandma. I hear cooking sounds from the kitchen.

Thank you, my fellow healthcare professionals, for your service and dedication.

Remember to treat everyone with importance and always be kind.