JEFFERSON CITY – The Baptist Home honored its healthcare workers as “modern-day superheroes” during National Skilled Nursing Care Week, May 10-16.
Since 1967, the American Health Care Association has set aside the week of Mother’s Day as a special time of observance and recognition for nursing staff in long-term care centers across the nation.
At each of The Baptist Home campuses around the state, a special theme was selected to honor their workers. At Ozark, Campus Administrator Sonya Newton shared that their theme was “Our Staff Sets the Bar!” Each day, staff were treated to a variety of fun food bars including donuts, nachos, s’mores, ice cream and pizza. At Arcadia Valley, a wall of appreciation was filled with notes of kindness written by residents and staff. At Chillicothe, activities included a special appreciation meal and time of recognition for staff celebrating their five-year work anniversaries.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, nursing homes have been under intense scrutiny to protect their residents and staff from infection. Perhaps now more than ever, long-term care nurses need to know how much we appreciate all their efforts to keep our loved ones safe.
At press time, The Baptist Home had no positive cases of COVID-19 among residents and staff. Since March 16, social distancing requirements and no-visitor restrictions have required staff to begin “thinking outside of the box” to find unique ways to provide residents with fun activities and opportunities for social engagement. Staff have also had to rethink how to deliver care to the residents, including bringing meals to each room and providing Bible studies, chapel services and prayer time over intercom systems or in areas large enough to accommodate six-foot distancing and disinfecting requirements.
In addition to having to wear masks which are hot and uncomfortable for hours, many staff have had to make personal sacrifices to ensure resident safety, including cancelled vacations and postponed visits with family members. Staff have had to take on additional workloads, helping in other departments as needed.
In a recent interview, Arcadia Valley Campus Administrator Sherri Snider summed it up well: “The staff have been well in-serviced on personal protective equipment, on infection control, and on social distancing. The staff understand that COVID-19 is no distinguisher of peoples. Some of the staff have had family members test positive, so this is taken very seriously. It is a heavy burden to think of this disease getting through to the residents, despite the myriad of efforts and barriers that have been put in place. So yes, you are right…the staff of TBH are my heroes…their love for, their dedication to, and their sacrifices on behalf of the residents has not gone unnoticed. You see, the care the residents receive is given as though we are the hands of Christ.”
The Baptist Home is grateful for the continued prayers of Missouri Baptists for the health and safety of its residents and caregivers.