This week, we’re celebrating the amazing nursing teams at our communities throughout the state who serve the residents of Westminster Communities of Florida. At a time of global pandemic, these dedicated team members are on the front lines of keeping residents safe every day. They are our heroes in masks and gowns, and their commitment to our Mission is central to what we do.
Today, we learn more about why the work these team members do is so critical at a time of a global pandemic. We’ll meet three nurses – Jamie Sullivan, Director of Nursing at Westminster Manor in Bradenton; Latrice McCullough, a nurse at Westminster Towers in Orlando; and Brenda Julian, a nurse at Westminster Manor.
“Now especially, long-term care nursing is essential. It is a specialty, but more than that, it truly is a calling. We are drawn to it,” Jamie Sullivan said.
Sullivan was called to nursing herself after following an unusual path of studying engineering and business. “No education is ever lost. I love knowledge and I love education,” she said. She came to Westminster Manor after working in emergency room care and even an international medical rescue company.
Another nurse, Latrice McCullough, is a former Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and even worked in manufacturing for a time, before she found her calling as a nurse. Her time as a CNA motivated her to stay in health care, and to go to school to become an LPN.
McCullough found her calling because her sister was a CNA, and advised her to give it a try. “We learned about all the book stuff in class, but finding the residents made all the difference,” she said. “I love talking to the residents and learning from them. They’re so wise.”
One of the nurses at Westminster Manor, Brenda Julian, a Licensed Practical Nurse, found her calling to nursing much earlier — she worked at Westminster Point Pleasant as a volunteer in the activities department while she was in high school. Julian said she fell in love with caring for the residents. “The residents are like my family,” she said. “We are there for them.”
Nursing matters now more than ever, Julian said, because our team members are the residents’ main support when their families can’t visit. “We’re not only their physical support — we are their emotional and spiritual support, too. One of the biggest things I can do for them is cheer them up, I work the night shift and I’m one of the first people they see in the day.”
McCullough concurred, adding that the nurses’ job is to relieve the stress for families at a time of pandemic. “The families who entrust us with their loved ones need to know that they mean a lot to us, too. They know that their family members are safe and that we are taking care of them the best that we can.”
The most important way to keep everyone safe right now, said Sullivan, is to act decisively and in the interest of safety first. “We are blessed to have an organization that is putting the residents first,” Sullivan said. “We don’t hesitate. As soon as more information comes out, we act, and our leadership has been there, 100% of the way.”
McCullough said that she felt that, at a time of pandemic, the communities were well-prepared to keep the residents safe and secure. “We feel, as employees, that Westminster has handled this situation very well – and quickly. It was, ‘A, B, C, then, let’s go team!’ ” she said.
“This is not the time to give up!” said Julian. “Every day’s a learning experience. Some days are harder than others, but you just have to keep on.”
Do you have a calling to care for older adults? Learn more about how you can Work With Excellence, Serve With Heart as part of our nursing team today on our Careers page.