Employee Spotlight: Chaka Simmons, A.G. RhodesEmployee spotlights feature exceptional A.G. Rhodes employees doing exceptional work throughout the organization. Our latest spotlight features Chaka Simmons, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at our Cobb home.

“Chaka is incredibly dependable and goes above and beyond each day, but what’s most impressive is her warm and caring approach with our elders,” said Melanie Haders, Interim Administrator. “As our community continues transforming to a person-directed model of care, Chaka is leading the way in these efforts. She sets a wonderful example of a care partner who takes every opportunity to truly get to know the elders and their families, and they absolutely love her.”

Where are you from?

I’m from Arkansas

What does your job entail?

My job basically entails providing customer service to elders and their families, administering medications, admissions and discharging, and providing care and team work.

How long have you been working at A.G. Rhodes/working in the long-term care industry?

I have been working with A.G. Rhodes of Cobb for six years now, and working in long-term care for 17 years.

What made you get into this field?

What made me get into this profession was watching my mom when I was younger in her nursing career. Learning the ability to take care of someone also inspired me, and knowing that it’s not about the money, it’s just being there and helping them that matters.

What’s the best part about your job?

The best part of my job is that I help someone day to day. Also, learning from my elders that no matter what their illness is, I always walk away grateful.

What do you want people to know about your job?

First and foremost, if you don’t have a heart to provide care, or if you don’t have patience, this industry is not for you. Long-term care is my joy, and being around my elders also helps me because I see them as a mom and a dad I never had. They may also remind me of someone that was close to me and sometimes I can relate to their illness.

What keeps you going?

What keeps me going is learning more about nursing, and understanding the disease process inspires me to continue my education. Also what keeps me going is knowing that I made a difference, and for my children, I set an example that if you have a passion for something, never give up no matter how long it takes.

What does it take to work in this field?

Passion, love, patience and a smile. You must be willing to learn and accept criticism and don’t dwell on your mistakes—just encourage yourself to do better. And lastly, listen!

What do you do when you’re not working (hobbies, family, etc)?

Rest and family time with my children.

Do you have any advice for someone interested in getting into the long-term care industry?

Know your elders and their families, and give them an opportunity to trust you with their loved ones. Family education is important, as well as working as a team.

Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Throughout my career in long-term care, I’ve gotten close to my elders and it can be hard to see the decline process, and to be strong for the family, but always remember the good times you had. Nursing is my heart and working with my elders helps me remember how precious life is. Nursing is caring.

November 2018