Nurses in long-term care share their wisdom

Experienced nurses share advice with new nurses at Good Samaritan Society

A Good Samaritan Society nurse in face mask smiles and leans close to a senior living resident.

Vanetta Bauman, LPN, is celebrating more than 40 years as a nurse at the Good Samaritan Society.

“It’s very, very rewarding,” Bauman says.

The licensed practical nurse currently works in assisted living at Good Samaritan Society – Hastings Village in Nebraska. While her roles have changed over the years and taken her to different locations, she’s actually right back where she started in 1980 working in the same building.

“I enjoy the elderly a lot,” Bauman says. “Enjoy their stories. Helping them and their thankfulness for everything you do.”

Keeping residents safe this past year took a lot of hard work. Bauman says the pandemic has been “rough” on nurses and Society staff.

“It was a struggle but a good year because we made it work. We did what we were supposed to do and we kept them safe,” Bauman says.

‘Doing for others’

A passion for providing that care is why she sticks with nursing. It’s a calling.

“I think because I enjoy doing for others. Working to make it better. Keeping teamwork. I’m a people person. I want to make sure everybody and everything is happy,” Bauman says.

For anyone starting out as a Society nurse or interested in the field, she has some sage advice.

“You need a lot of patience and empathy to stay connected to the residents,” Bauman says.

Fulfilling career

Marcie Schulz, MBA, MSN, RN, is the director of nursing at Good Samaritan Society – Sunset Drive in Mandan, North Dakota. She’s only been at the Society for five months but she has 23 years of nursing experience.

“Going home at the end of the day and knowing that you helped somebody is fulfilling. It warms my heart and fills my heart,” Schulz says.

From hospitals to nursing homes, she wouldn’t trade her career for anything.

Schulz encourages young nurses and those interested in the work, “I say, ‘Go for it.’ Put your heart and soul into it because it’s a very rewarding career.”

Rewarding because of the relationships you build with your patients and residents.

“Compared to the hospital, I like that we get to keep our residents. We have the same people and they become your family,” Schulz says.

Learning about a resident’s favorite pet or sharing some gifted candy, she loves all of that. Schulz also admires the 168 people working in nursing services at her location.

“Our nursing staff here is phenomenal. They constantly are going above and beyond and making sure our residents are taken care of. I’ve just been welcomed into this organization and I’m proud to be the director of nursing here at Sunset,” Schulz says.

Residents ‘take your heart’

Jo Neis, RN, works with Schulz. Remarkably, she’s served at the same nursing home for more than 40 years. With a name that sounds like “nice,” she strives to be a kind, compassionate nurse every day.

“Most of the time. Sometimes I have to get some spunk in me,” Neis says.

Her maiden name, after all, is Feist.

“When I came out of nursing in 1979, there were no jobs available,” Neis says.

That has since changed. Nursing has been a constant in her life and she’s glad she chose long-term care.

“You get to know your residents. They take your heart,” Neis says.

Those residents arrive for care in a variety of situations.

“We get them directly, very sick, from the hospital,” Neis says.

Her advice to aspiring nurses: “Pick your field and give long-term care a chance.”

‘Core of what we do’

Nurses play a major role in how the Society operates, according to Rochelle Rindels, MSN, RN, vice president of nursing and clinical services.

“Nursing is the core of what we do. We’re a health care company and nursing care is the majority of the services we provide. Our nurses are extremely important to the organization,” Rindels says.

Rindels’ own nursing career began when she was an LPN at a long-term care location.

“I think some of the advice I got starting out as a young nurse came from my dad and one of my nursing professors. Just to continue to educate myself and learn more about nursing. Learn about the different types of nursing. Gain different experiences. Keep going back to school because I started out as an LPN and went back for my RN degree. That has always really stuck with me,” Rindels says.

Between time serving at Sanford and the Society, she gained experiences in inpatient, ambulatory, procedural, academic and quality departments.

Rindels says this past year hasn’t been easy for nurses. It is, however, easy to be thankful for the work they do every day.

“To our nurses, thank you for everything that you do and continue to do,” Rindels says. “We know that you’re not just a nurse but you’re a parent, a friend, a sibling, a student and yet you continue to dedicate your time to caring for those that have been placed before you. Thank you for being a Good Samaritan nurse.”

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Posted In Health Care Heroes, Nursing and Nursing Support, People & Culture, Senior Services

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