Skilled Nursing Care Week: Taking care on a daily basis

Published 7:09 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Melissa Madison goes to work each day with zeal for her patient

Melissa Madison has seen the struggles of people with dementia and memory loss up close, but she has not lost her zest for taking care of those patients.

Madison, executive director and LPN at Our House Senior Living in Austin, has been a nurse for 16 years and has spent the last three years in the memory care unit. She has seen the struggle of isolated patients through the pandemic and she has seen patients forget who their family members are due to dementia. But those patients have always appreciated Madison.

“It’s hard, but it’s wonderful. One of my favorite memories was having a patient introduce me as their best friend to a doctor,” Madison said. “Seeing the residents smile when you come into their room is great. Even if they don’t know who anyone is, they know us. We do the little things that make them smile.”

While the nursing staff has done what it can to make patients comfortable, the allowance of visitors over the past few months has been helpful. Seeing family members can be vital to the health of all patients.

“Family is very important,” Madison said. “It’s nice to have them in here.”

Madison does a little bit of everything on the job as she organizes activities for residents, takes care of residents, and she even does a little bit of painting and building maintenance.

It’s been a tough time for nurses and they are going to try to make their work noticed by participating in the United “Million” Nurses March on Thursday. The event is held by Nurseify and is meant to raise awareness of the hardships faced by nurses.

It will take place at the Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. and end at the Capitol. It will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. central time.

“We have to have each other’s backs,” Madison said.

The pandemic has brought many issues in staffing and Madison has tried to counter that by doing little things for her staff. She’s taken them out to lunch and purchased gifts for them.

Overall, things have been going “pretty well,” according to Madison.

Madison also worked as a CNA for eight years before becoming executive director. She was drawn to the nursing field due to her desire to help out and lift people up.

“I like working with people and interacting with them,” Madison said. “Most of us nurses are like that.”