Southington Care Center Nightingale Award recipient credits grandmother as her inspiration
By her own account, Shelby Verrone-Webb, LPN, has always been a nurturing soul. And just because she outgrew her dolls didn’t mean that her caring nature ceased. Instead her passion grew even greater when she started taking her grandmother to medical appointments. “It made me want to learn more and get into geriatrics,” she said.
Verrone-Webb, a 2017 Nightingale Award recipient, is now nurturing residents of Southington Care Center where she has worked since 2011. “I’m the first in my family to work in the medical field – the first nurse,” she said.
When she began at Southington Care, located at 45 Meriden Ave., she floated on different floors each week including short-term rehabilitation. Now, she is in long-term care and particularly enjoys relating to those with dementia. “I love getting to know the people. We’ve become like family to each other. I am a familiar face and know their moods, their habits and what can make their lives easier,” Verrone-Webb said.
For most healthcare personnel, there is no such thing as a “typical” day. When she comes in for her shift, she makes sure she tidies the Garden Room, making it homey and cozy for the residents who gather there. Then she hits the floor: doing morning medical passes and rounds and checking in on “her” residents to make sure everything is going smoothly. “I like to talk to them and know that they are OK. This is their home,” she said.
Connecting with families is vital. When her own grandmother came to Southington Care Center for short-term rehabilitation, she really understood how families felt. “They can’t be here as much as we are so it reassures them to know their loved ones are being well cared for,” she said.
“Shelby shows an unwavering commitment to our residents, patients and her coworkers,” noted William Kowalewski, Southington Care Center executive director. “Even on her most hectic days she is seen with a smile.”
A leader, she raises those around her to a higher level of performance, Kowalewski remarked. She often assists the nursing assistants on her team with providing direct patient care.
Verrone-Webb, a Meriden resident, values the residents’ quality of life and enjoys taking them outside to meditation garden when it is warmer. She also was instrumental in organizing the Outdoor Summer Concert Series held at sunset four times each season.
“Shelby can often be seen spending discretionary time one-on-one with residents. Whether it be singing, taking someone around the campus for a walk or just sitting and chatting with a lonely resident, she is always in the moment,” Kowalewski said.
Her biggest challenge? Seeing people decline in health as they come to end of life. “I accept that but I always wonder if I could have done something more,” she said.
She holds only one regret: her grandmother died before she could see her granddaughter become a registered nurse, a goal on which she has set her sights. However she is reassured in knowing, “My grandmother was very proud of me,” she said.
Southington Care Center offers skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, and is a not for profit member of Hartford HealthCare Senior Services. For more information about Southington Care Center, visit southingtoncare.org or call 860.621.9559.
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