Today we honor our 700+ nurses and observe National Nurses Week and National Skilled Nursing Care Week with a story in our Better Together series.
Author Maya Angelou famously said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
While Nurse Madison (Madi) Dian at Timber Hills in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., may be young and relatively new to the profession, her compassion is stirring lasting memories in the hearts of many.
Jessica (Jess) Davis, clinical administrator, has known Madi since she started as a nursing assistant in 2018. “From the beginning,” Jess reflects, “I could tell she had that special quality of making people feel comfortable, even when they’re not. It’s her approach — her compassion — that has always been there.”
Colleague Tessa Larsen, registered nurse (RN), celebrates Madi’s rapid growth. “Madi is a very young nurse, and I have seen her blossom into a great nurse,” she says. “She’s gained a lot of confidence in the past couple of years, especially during Covid.”
‘Madi’s respect did that for her. It did that for all of us.’
Recently Madi’s compassionate care was noted by a granddaughter, who wrote a letter of gratitude to Timber Hills after her grandmother’s passing.
Hello Timber Hills,
I want to congratulate you on your excellent luck in having such a fine nurse as Madison Dian. …
Madi was a calm and efficient RN, always performing the necessary medical actions with a perfect balance of comfort and professionalism. We never needed to ask her to explain what was happening; we were up to date on everything before we even had a chance to worry if we were behind. Madi treated the entire family with gentleness and good humor during a very hard part of our lives. …
But the way she was with [my grandmother]. That will stand in my memory forever.
… In every conversation Madi showed [her] the respect due to a woman who had lived nearly a century on this earth. When Madi spoke, you knew she made [her] feel as though she were still wearing a silk blouse and rhinestone earrings and her favorite shade of pink lipstick. I could see [my grandmother] sitting straight in one of her wing chairs, patting her perfectly-coiffed hair. Madi's respect did that for her. It did that for all of us.
Our family will never stop being grateful for Madi's loving care.
Gaining confidence in her nursing career at Presbyterian Homes & Services
But early on in her college education, Madi said she questioned her nursing abilities. “Clinicals were just so hard for me,” she said, noting her main challenge as “walking into people’s rooms and saying hello.”
In order to gain experience and conquer her fear, Madi explains she joined Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) as a nursing assistant several years ago.
Now reflecting on her warm approach with residents, Madi adds, “It’s definitely a skill I developed because I used to be super uncomfortable with people.”
Compassion and connection are key qualities in a nurse. Madi’s colleague Kendra Rodriguez, RN, explains, “Compassion is important for building relationships with residents, especially new ones. They’re scared, they don’t know yet about the many resources available to them, and you’re one of the first people they will meet and interact with. Our [nursing] assessment is such a vulnerable piece for them – opening up and telling you about themselves.”
Kendra notes that a highlight is “building that relationship, seeing it grow over time and watching as they learn to trust more.”
And with a smile, referring to Madi, Kendra says, “I couldn’t think of a better nurse to work with.”
Crediting teamwork and nurse role models
Madi credits her team. “I don’t think I would have been as successful if I didn’t have a good team around me,” she says. “There’s just so much comfort in knowing that if I don’t understand what to do and feel overwhelmed, I have plenty of other people who I can call, text or ask to come and help me.
“Really,” she adds, with a gentle flow of her hand, “teamwork makes this whole place go.”
Jennie Fick, resident services director, exclaims, “We are a great team here at Timber Hills! We all have this mutual respect. We all know it’s better for the resident and for families, and we just support one another 100 percent.”
Role modeling is especially valuable to newer teammates. Jennie continues, “I’ve seen Madi go from nursing assistant to brand-new RN case manager to confident RN case manager. And she’s amazing. She’s very young, but very mature. And I think she’s got great role models – she’s got Jess and the other nurses.”
The entire team at Timber Hills collaborates because of a common mission. Campus Administrator Stacy Carlsrud says, “The resident comes first. And as long as we keep our eye on how we can best care for our residents, then we’re all really on the same team. Because that’s why we’re here. We wouldn’t be here without them.”
Stacy concludes, “Hearing how Madi was just so attentive to the family and treated the resident with dignity and respect – that’s what I love about our team.”
With a strong team to support Madi, Jess affirms, “She always knows that she has us here. She’s going to do big things. I always tell her, ‘You will be a nurse that people always remember.’”
We at PHS are grateful to the more than 700 PHS nurses who forever touch the hearts and enrich the lives of older adults and their families.
Do you know someone looking for more purpose in their work? Share the good news and the many opportunities to join our team at www.preshomes.org/careers.
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