Home care nurse manager leads with a smile

Lisa Dean emphasizes approachability, kindness and laughter each day at work

Sanford Health nurse smiles in front of a wall display of colorful paper hearts.

Ever since she was a junior in high school, Lisa Dean knew she wanted to be a nurse.

She’s currently the nurse manager for Sanford Worthington Home Care, and said she’s always been drawn towards caring for people.

“I especially liked caring for kids and the elderly,” she said.

Sanford Health is home

Throughout her entire 30-year nursing career, Sanford Health has always been home for Dean.

“When I first graduated, I worked on the pediatrics floor in Sioux Falls. At that time it was Sioux Valley Hospital. I worked there for three years, but I was commuting back and forth, and (later) had my first child,” she recalled.

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She then worked at Sanford Health in Jackson, Minnesota. After a year, she saw the position of home care nurse in Worthington, Minnesota.

“I applied, took that, immediately fell in love with it, and I’ve been here ever since 1995,” she said with a laugh.

Love of seeing patients

She’s been at Sanford Worthington Home Health for 26 years. She said her relationship with patients keeps her coming back.

“I just loved going and seeing patients. I loved going into their homes. I loved the variety that we have. We see patients anywhere from newborns up to 100 years old. So, every day is a different day.”

Not only with patients, but the relationship with her colleagues inspires her to come to work every day.

“There’s a family feel. We’re all connected, especially with the office being in the hospital. Just knowing that you have the support and the resources available for our staff is a benefit. We consider everybody as family,” she said. “I have the best staff any manager could ask for. Every one of them gives our patients great care! They treat them just like one of their family.”

Leading with a smile

Her current role is the home care manager. When asked what makes a great leader, she said simply: “Coming in with a smile.”

“We all have our bad days, but that’s really not being an effective leader. You have to put that aside and come in with a positive attitude,” she said.

“Sit down and have a few minutes just to talk and laugh. Always be supportive. A positive attitude is one of the best things, and having your staff know they can rely on you and ask any questions. I think that is really important for me as a leader.

“I try to live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

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Posted In Jackson, Nursing and Nursing Support, People & Culture, Sanford Stories, Sioux Falls, Worthington

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