Long-term care home recognizes nurses
National Nursing Week is May 7 to 13
Lisa Wight-Gotkowski, a 4 ½-year veteran of Brantford’s Hardy Terrace Nursing Home, says the best part of her job is spending time with residents.
“I work in the Alzheimer’s-dementia unit. You never know what to expect,” she says. “So when you can put a smile on someone’s face, so much the better.”
Wight-Gotkowski, who entered the nursing profession 15 years ago, says she stumbled into nursing by accident. While a high school student, Wight-Gotkowski decided she wanted to be an animal health technician.
“My first love was animals,” she says. “I did a co-op placement with a veterinarian. He said a nurse makes so much more money than an animal health technician, so why don’t you go into nursing.”
But Wight-Gotkowski also had some family encouragement.
“My grandmother was a nurse and that kind of swayed my vote, too,” she points out.
A graduate of Mohawk College in Brantford, Wight-Gotkowski has been a nurse for 15 years. She says one of the most important aspects of her position is building personal relationships with residents and their families.
“I can’t say enough about getting a rapport with the residents,” she says. “You almost have to be like a family member to them.”
National Nursing Week is May 7 to 13. The week is reserved every year to recognize the efforts of nurses. Events are held annually at Hardy Terrace to acknowledge the week.
“Every year they recognize us here,” says Wight-Gotkowski.
Nurses have brought in their old yearbooks and staff members have made a display which will be set up at the home for the week. There’s also a meal held to honour the nursing staff.
“I think we need to show the nurses who are in here every day that they are appreciated,” she says. “It’s nice to be recognized.”
Wight-Gotkowski says the No. 1 challenge in long-term care nursing is recruitment of staff, however, there are other things which make the job challenging.
“Another challenge (is) the workload,” she says. “We’re just as busy as an emergency unit, but in a different way.”
For more information of National Nursing Week, visit this site.