We continued our interview with staff members at Mount Alverna Village to better understand how Catholic Community Connection engages with community partners to enhance the quality and effectiveness of Catholic services throughout the Diocese of Cleveland. Here’s what Deohn Tolbert, LPN, Rehabilitation Unit Manager, had to share from the frontline:
Deohn Tolbert, LPN, Rehabilitation Unit Manager, Mount Alverna Village
How have you helped those in need?
Welcoming them and warming their hearts as soon as they walk through our doors.
As a frontline caregiver, I help people by not just getting to know them, but also getting to know their family members. Sometimes we need relatives to help us understand our residents’ needs—to offer suggestions about how to take care of them or tell us things our residents may not feel comfortable telling us themselves. That insight can make a big difference in helping people feel more at home.
What is the most gratifying part of your job?
Knowing that I make a difference.
Whether I’m taking care of someone who’s having a really bad day and I’m the one who gets to put a smile on their face, or if I’ve been treating a wound and it finally heals, I enjoy making a difference in the lives of my patients on a particular day at a specific time.
What are some lessons you’ve learned as a caregiver to others?
Patience, first, and then being able to put myself in someone else’s shoes.
As frustrating as things can be for caregivers, they’re also frustrating for patients and their family members. It can be hard for people to lose their sense of independence. Someone who once served as a loved one’s caretaker may have a hard time letting go of that role or trusting that we’re doing as good of a job as they would. As we care for our patients, we need to continually remind ourselves to take a step back and remember what they and their family members are going through.