April’s “Hometown Hero” rose not only to the challenge of working in a nursing home during a pandemic, but to beating cancer as well.
Patricia Anderson’s co-workers at Windy Hill Village in Philipsburg, Harley S. Steiner and Jayne Klanish, nominated her for the honor because they believe “Patty found her calling when she became a nurse.
“She is essential, she is impactful and she is rewarded by the smiles of her residents and continues facing battles everyday when she puts her scrubs on,” they said.
“Working alongside Patty with fellow co-workers you can easily see the passion she has for healthcare and serving the community,” it said in their nomination form.
“Working as a nurse you are full of strength, so selfless, you put others’ needs before your own, you’re inspiring and completely exhausted all at once, especially working in the front-lines during our pandemic.”
In response to her nomination, Patty said, “I thought it was amazing that they thought of me like that.”
Despite being diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2020, this mother of two kept working full-time, which was especially difficult during the COVID-19 crisis.
When asked about this, Patty responded that she “didn’t think of taking off work while I was receiving treatment.”
Continuing to work was “a little rough,” she explained, but she said her co-workers were very supportive as “everyone pulled together.”
The most difficult part of the last year was helping the residents who were not able to see their families.
In addition to the loneliness, many residents were confused by what was happening and even stated they didn’t know many staff members due to the protective equipment they wore and commented that they “all looked the same.”
They were able to video chat with families, which helped, Patty said, and “everyone worked together to get their spirits up.”
During the pandemic, Patty said they did have a few outbreaks of the disease but now most of the residents are vaccinated. She is relieved that they are finally able to have visitors again.
Patty excels at helping the residents, according to the nomination form, with her co-workers commenting: “I’ve many times asked her how she does it. She treats each one of her residents as if they are her family.
“I commend Patty for being such an advocate for our residents’ healthcare and ensuring they receive the quality care they deserve,” they said.
When you love your job, it is easy to excel, and that may be part of Patty’s success. “I love it. I love what I do.”
She said the best part of the job is “hearing residents laugh, seeing them smile when you walk in and giving them a little bit of comfort during this confusing time.”
She spoke about how wonderful Harley and Jayne are at their jobs, too as their work is really a group effort.
Patty thanked them for nominating her as a “Hometown Hero,” and for “being there for me.”
If you would like to nominate someone for our “Hometown Hero” series, tell us in 250 words or less, why you believe your nominee is qualified.
Please remember to provide your contact information such as phone numbers and e-mail and include the contact details for the nominee. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.