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A lifetime of experience prepared Tammy Thompson for a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic

A lifetime of experience prepared Tammy Thompson for a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic

There might be no one equipped to handle a global pandemic better than Tammy Thompson. Serving as the director of nursing in Health Care at Manor of the Plains since January of last year, you might say Tammy has health care in her blood.

“I come from a family of care providers,” said Tammy. “My whole family worked at the nursing home in Bucklin—my aunts, my cousins, my mom—and we grew up there, around the elderly.”

Although she has worked in a variety of capacities within the health care industry—most recently as an operating room nurse—when the opportunity to once again serve seniors became available, she knew where she belonged.

“I love the elderly and have a passion for long-term care,” said Tammy. “It’s where my heart is.”

Almost a year and a half later, when Manor of the Plains had an employee first test positive for COVID-19, Tammy’s lifetime of experience came into the play as she worked to protect those within the community.

“We were in the lead position on this and we wanted to set expectations correctly,” said Tammy.

One of the first things Tammy needed to do to contain the spread of COVID was to implement community-wide testing—something she said would have been difficult if it were not for the professionalism and dedication of her staff.

“My nurses have all been great pitching in on test days,” said Tammy. “We test all residents and staff every two weeks, and we have a great system in place—last time we had it done in three hours.”

Beyond implementing testing procedures, dealing with COVID has challenged Tammy’s staff in numerous other ways as they ensure that each resident is safe and that all of their physical and psychological needs are being met.

“It’s put a lot of strain on residents not seeing their loved ones, so we’ve done extra one-on-ones to keep them feeling loved,” said Tammy.

Again, Tammy said none of it would be possible without the people she works with.

“I’m very lucky, the nurse management team and direct care staff are great,” said Tammy. “We all have a respect for each other and work really well together.”

In addition to the opportunity to care for seniors at this vulnerable time in history, Tammy is equally grateful to work for an organization that believes—like her—in serving a greater good.

“The Christian values Presbyterian Manors stands for makes working here even more rewarding,” said Tammy. “You know you’re working towards something.”

Manor of the Plains’ outbreak was closed by the Ford County Health Department on July 6, ending nearly two months of testing at the community. Now, Tammy and her team are looking forward to opening the community to visitors again as the campus goes through a phased reopening.

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