One of the most valuable support teams at SLC is the Nursing Department, where the lives of residents are dependent upon the skills and abilities of four very skilled people; Fr. David Stawasz, SdC, RN, Emily Wild, LPN, Debbie Markiewicz, RN, and Heidi Divert, LPN.
While Fr. Dave has been at SLC for many years practicing the skills he learned before becoming a priest, Emily, Debbie and Heidi are relatively new to SLC.
Emily Wild, who has worked at SLC for 2.5 years, is happy to be a practicing nurse who helps people get better when they’re ill. “I enjoy being their eyes, ears and nose when someone needs extra help,” said Emily. “And providing them with a quality of life that maybe they couldn’t get anywhere else is important. This is a lot like home care, and that is my passion. This is their home, and I travel from house to house and really enjoy my work.”
As part of its continuous improvement program, SLC introduced a new medication packing process which makes the process much less labor-intensive. This change allows the Nursing staff to spend more time monitoring the health and wellness of the residents. Communicating with medical professionals, school staff, parents, and direct care staff is also a big part of the job, and can now be given more of the time it deserves.
According to Emily, “This change has given us the ability to improve nursing care to the residents,” and she is happy about these improvements. “I feel like I’m able to give patients more quality time. Medication is just one part of the treatment. It’s really improved our nursing department.”
Deb Markiewicz came to St. Louis Center at the end of 2018 and shared similar thoughts about the new med packaging program. “It’s easier now to pack meds for school, home and work, and it’s nice for the parents too because they can see the dates that are on them now when they go home.”
The St. Louis Center nursing staff believes that the new medication packing system has had a positive effect on the health care of the residents of St. Louis Center by freeing them up to perform more pro-active nursing skills like taking vital signs, observing behaviors, and measuring the impacts of their treatment plans while also being more responsive in the event of illness or injury. Perhaps providentially, all just in time for a global pandemic.
Read more about the SLC Nursing Department here.