What first brought you to Eckerd Connects E-Nini-Hassee?
In June of 2005 I saw an ad in our local paper that Camp E-Nini-Hassee was hiring a nurse. I went to camp and met Chief Gale on the front porch. She escorted me into the building, showed me around and convinced me that this is where I belonged.
What’s surprised you the most about being a nurse at E-Nini-Hassee?
Camp is one of the only places I have found that the girls (the patients) come first. Everyone works together to meet the needs of our girls no matter what the problem may be. The girls’ needs take priority at E-Nini-Hassee.
What seems to be the biggest obstacle for the girls who come to E-Nini-Hassee?
The separation from social media, cell phones, and adjusting to a world without that distraction is very difficult for adolescent girls. Especially those that have relied on those avenues for communication. Camp opens a new world to them in expressing verbally with others and finding their voice.
What’s the most challenging part about your work with Adolescent girls?
As a nurse, I would say working with the ever-changing world of the healthcare resources. We are challenged to meet health care needs and standards while dealing with diminishing insurance benefits.
What do you love most about the work and how your role has changed over the years?
My role at Camp has elevated my nursing experiences (Emergency Room, ICU, Home Health, Hospice, Juvenile Correctional and teaching) to a whole new level. I am a nurse but at the same time I am a teacher, counselor, mother, grandmother, and friend to both girls and staff. At camp we work hard in helping our girls in the journey to success, but we also have fun and it is always great that we all can do that as a family rather than a workplace.
If you had to choose your education and career path to do all over again, would you choose the same professional path? If not, what would you do differently and why?
I have a strong faith and believe that God has a plan for our lives. I believe He put nursing in my heart as a passion and has led me to Camp. Every door that He has opened for me in this field has been an amazing experience and has given me the building blocks to succeed at Camp. After over 50 years in this field I cannot imagine doing anything else. My son tells me it is my mission.
If there’s one thing you wished the families knew about treatment or mental illness, what would it be?
I feel our kids are not being grounded today in spiritual roots that can help them fight the daily pressures they meet. Social media has taken over family time, communication and expressing needs, along with broken relationships that has led to a lack of trust and a belief system. Discipline and self-control has also changed, and we are more tolerant of behaviors that are unacceptable. Our youth are confused about right and wrong. These teachings need to begin in the home early if we want our youth to be more successful. I also feel it takes a village to raise kids and parents need to reach out and accept help early at the onset of problems.
E-Nini-Hassee practices gratitude, what are you currently grateful for (this moment)?
Christ being born on Christmas day to give the greatest gift of all. My husband, 2 sons, daughter-in-law and 4 grandchildren that are my world. Being blessed to have a job where giving love, care and support are the number one priorities.