Education/Experience My career in caring probably began when I learned to walk and talk. As long as I can remember, I’ve been doctoring my friends up, caring for any and every animal I meet, and looking to better the earth for everyone living in it. During grade school and high school, I really dialed in on my passion for health, fitness, and wellness. Following high school I attended Madison College in Reedsburg and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 2011. My clinical interests piqued in correctional health, eating disorder awareness, and psychiatric nursing. My first 7 years out of college were spent as an Electronic Health Record Clinical Implementor traveling around the US training end users on using a long-term care software. It was during that time that I honed in on my passion in technical nursing, regulation compliance, quality assurance, and infection control. I pursued my RAC-CT and QCP training in this time. My personal interests stayed in eating disorder awareness and education, health and wellness, fitness, and substance use disorder awareness and treatment. I moved into a role designed just for my expertise in the MDS and software world in a long term care facility following my career starter in software. I took some time away from nursing to get back to my roots on the home dairy farm and attend to my spiritual, emotional, and intrapersonal needs before landing this dream position back in the nursing field as the RN Case Manager and Director of Health and Wellness here at BrightStar Senior Living in Waunakee. I’ve enjoyed absolutely every single day with my BrightStar family and I’m looking forward to creating many more heart-melting memories as my career here evolves. I can honestly say that I am grateful every single day for the opportunities I’m blessed with here at BSLW.
What attracted you to a career supporting and caring for older adults? Family values are at my core. I’ve always looked up to my elders and appreciated every ounce of wisdom and life experience that I could squeeze out of every encounter I had with them. I spent a lot of time growing up in my grandma’s sewing room, in my grandpa’s woodworking shop, and on granny’s farm. I’ve always considered myself an old soul, even from a very young age. I’m always cheering for the underdog, the broken beings, and those who can’t advocate for their own best interests. It only makes sense that I’ve traveled down the path of geriatrics and elderly advocacy in my professional life. I always say I should have been born in the 1910s!
What makes BrightStar Senior Living unique? BrightStar Senior Living is a family. We are a group individuals of all different backgrounds and stories, but we are a family brought together by our passion for the care we provide. I see my clients as my family. I see my coworkers as my family. I want the absolute very best for every single individual involved in this community, and I know I’m not the only one to feel that way. Transplanting myself to Waunakee from “across the river” was a bit of a scary step for me, but my family here at BrightStar has made the transition painless and I’m thankful for all of the support I’ve found in this big, happy, eclectic family.
What are you passionate about in your role? I’m passionate about doing my job and being in my role. What I mean by this is I’m passionate about letting a resident’s family be just that, the family. It is our job here to take on the role of caregiver and healthcare provider. We’re here to let you, the families, enjoy your time with your loved ones without having to worry about their every beck and call, their every need and preference. I strive to empower everyone in this community to do his or her job to the fullest potential and have pride in what we do. We care. All day. Every day. We care, and I’m passionate about that.
What brand promise do you connect with and why? Dignity. Hands down, dignity all the way. Having worked in long-term skilled care before coming to the assisted living world, I’ve seen the whole gambit of care. I understand both typical and atypical aging processes. I have seen dementia, Alzheimer’s, and brain injury cognition across the entire spectrum of severity. I see every client as a person, not a diagnosis or a behavior. I understand the physiological changes the brain goes through and how those changes may manifest in everyday life. I respect clients for the individual human beings they are. I embrace lifelong learning and its positive effects on cognition. But, above all, I believe in maintaining client dignity in every situation down to the last breath one takes. Furthermore, care of those who have passed gets no pass on dignity maintenance in my book. I’m here to care for your loved ones every step along the way and you have my word that I strive to maintain dignity at each and every one of those steps.