Wanda Young is the Housekeeping Supervisor at The Connecticut Hospice. She has been in the job for four years, and she plans to stay—forever! Her feelings about the facility are clear: She finds the setting beautiful, and the nurses very caring.
Although she has worked in other places, including in other healthcare organizations, Wanda finds Connecticut Hospice to be somewhere special. She thinks the nurses and CNAs go above and beyond to make the patients comfortable and to bring them whatever they need, whenever they need it. While workers in other places “work for a paycheck”, here she sees them “work because they care”.
When people ask her about where she works, she tells them that it can be a “sad place”, but also a loving one. She connects most strongly with those who don’t have anyone to take care of them and do not have visitors. If she is working overtime on an evening shift, she may sit by the bed of one who falls into that category, especially someone with dementia. If she can be that visitor for a lonely patient, that makes her feel fulfilled.
Much has been written lately about housekeepers in healthcare institutions during COVID, including that they feel unappreciated and left behind when the medical staff is thanked and praised. That’s not true at Connecticut Hospice! Wanda is a vital part of whatever goes on. She comes to retirement parties, stops by offices to make sure that the rest of the cleaning staff has performed up to standards, and has a comment for every visitor and staff person alike. She wears her bright blue scrubs with pride, and you can’t miss her—and she won’t miss you. Her opinion on most things is widely known and passed around.
Looking at housekeeping and maintenance helps people to understand all the components that go into providing world-class end of life care. Making sure that someone has a clean and calming environment is all part of what is provided. The IDT, or Interdisciplinary Team, is often referred to as the heart of hospice. Members of the clinical staff meet every week or two, to discuss the various factors of the patient’s condition, medications, and emotional status. Adjustments are made to the plan of care, based on what the group decides.
Wanda’s comments make it clear that it is not just the clinical team that contributes to the well-being of patients and families. Everyone works together, from dietary to maintenance, billing to social work, and marketing to human resources. The IDT philosophy, and the mission of hospice, leads everyone to coordinate and add their own special talents to the mix.
When asked about how working in a hospice has changed her, Wanda thinks for a moment. “I care more about people. I don’t just look at them; I really see them. This is an awesome job.” She has told her children, “If I get sick, don’t take me to your house. Take me to Connecticut Hospice.”
Wanda, and her co-workers are just one of the departments that help to make The Connecticut Hospice such a special place. It is more a calling than a job, and it is a privilege to serve the families, visitors, and patients that are all around. Making them more comfortable makes Wanda happy. And when Wanda is happy, we are all a little happier!
Admissions may be scheduled seven days a week.
Call our Centralized Intake Department: (203) 315-7540.
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