Nurse spotlight: Heather Benney, director of nursing at Aberdeen Village
The World Health Organization is setting aside 2020 as “The Year of the Nurse” to take time to recognize the 200th birth anniversary of revolutionary nurse Florence Nightingale - whose leadership forever elevated the importance and valuable contributions of nursing.
And while the nurses at Aberdeen Village might not possess Nightingale’s notoriety, they are no less critical to the well-being and care of our residents.
Heather Benney, director of nursing at Aberdeen Village, said that nurses are the “heartbeat of our team.”
“They are the individuals who interact with our residents and our residents’ families on a daily basis,” she said. “Our nurses not only provide physical bedside care, but they are there for the residents and their families emotionally.”
The 45 LPN and RN nurses who make up the nursing team at Aberdeen Village serve as primary caregivers, friends, and family members to our residents. Each day, this nursing staff perform physical assessments, administer medications, dress wounds, and provide a variety of treatments - all with high levels of knowledge, skill, and compassion.
“In general, I feel individuals that have a compassionate heart and are caring strive to become nurses,” Benney said. “ Nurses strive to help others feel better during their darkest times, and individuals that go into the nursing field get great pride from helping others not only feel better, but get better when the opportunity presents.”
That level of compassion positions them well to serve as the ears and eyes for doctors, and to work as the “heart and soul of healthcare,” according to Benney. Nurses have the opportunity to really learn about their patients, and are more apt to notice subtle changes in behavior and health, which can then give doctors better information to provide care.
Taking time to recognize the importance of nursing is an important way to acknowledge the irreplaceable role nurses play in patient and resident care.
“I feel many people believe nurses administer medications and complete charting, but their role is so much more advanced,” Benney said. “Recognizing nurses for the valuable role they play in the everyday life and well-being of residents, as well as, the overall important role they play in the healthcare arena may help attract others to our profession, so there will be enough nurses to provide care.”
Benney, who has been an RN since 2005 has deployed her skill in a number of ways. She’s worked in operating rooms, served as director of nursing for a children’s psychiatric program, and worked as director of nursing for another long-term care community before coming to Aberdeen Village four years ago - where she’s served as director of nursing since 2016.
“Aberdeen Village hands down has some of the most compassionate nurses I have worked with, and I’ve worked in hospitals, other long-term care homes, and psychiatric care communities,” Benney said. “Aberdeen Village Nurses take their Nursing practice beyond looking at a person, and the Nurses can be seen caring for the Resident’s as they are their own family. This level of care and compassion is amazing to see.”