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Compassion in Action: The Role of Resident Services at The Hickman blog thumbnail

Compassion in Action: The Role of Resident Services at The Hickman

December 5, 2023

When it comes to life at The Hickman, one group of employees is the true heartbeat of the community: the Resident Services team. Those who work in Resident Services are highly trained, dedicated to the residents, and work hard to ensure that the residents are healthy, safe, and happy. I recently got to speak with Jamia Harvey, LPN, Director of Resident Services, to learn how this amazing group of individuals contributes to what makes The Hickman such a desirable place to live.The Resident Services team at The Hickman comprises about 40 employees, including two Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and several Med Techs, who have passed a certification course regulated by the state of Pennsylvania. Med Techs complete observation every 6 months to stay current in their ability to administer medication. All Resident Services staff must pass the Direct Care training course, administered through the Department of Health Services, every year.

Jamia explained that no two days are exactly alike in Resident Services. While there’s no such thing as a “typical” day, many aspects of the job are consistent from one day to the next. At the beginning of each shift, the team makes rounds, checking on the status of each resident and touching base with each other to relay pertinent information from shift to shift. The Resident Services staff will get residents up and showered for the day, give medications, assist them in attending activities, and help tidy their living spaces. On Tuesdays and Thursdays are “doctor days,” local physicians visit The Hickman for resident check-ups. Resident Services staff communicate any health changes concerning their residents.

What’s the best thing about working in Resident Services? “Being able to help people who cannot help themselves, the thanks we get from them and their families, just knowing and understanding we’re helping on a daily basis,” Jamia shared. She personally enjoys seeing her staff grow in their relationships with the residents and with each other, forming a tight-knit team unified in their commitment to providing exceptional care to the residents. “The team I have comes in to do what it takes to get the job done and to do what it takes to keep the residents safe and happy,” she proudly explained. Some of her team’s most essential qualities, and those that anyone considering working in Resident Services should possess, include:

  • Compassion for others and the desire to care for others
  • Confidence
  • Positive attitude
  • Flexibility

Jamia and her exceptional Resident Services team are central to carrying out our mission–to offer individualized care, allowing older adults to enjoy a productive life and explore the richness of all life’s possibilities. In line with our Quaker principles that honor all life and value diversity, “The care staff take the time to listen to the residents and acknowledge their thoughts and feelings,” said Jamia. “They treat the residents with dignity, allowing them to be as independent as they can be.”

The Resident Services staff at The Hickman indeed go above and beyond. Dick W., intent on making it to his church service despite being limited by his wheelchair, slipped past his caregiver. He was about to wheel himself outside and navigate tricky terrain—leaving him vulnerable to falling—when his caregiver bounded down the steps into the lobby, hoping to beat him to the exit. She sat with Dick until a safe transport arrived. Stopping to redirect Dick was not part of the caregiver’s job description. Yet, the concern and compassion she showed for Dick, both for his safety and for his desire to attend church, is a testament to just how much our Resident Services staff are invested in those for whom they care. This is a great source of comfort to The Hickman residents’ loved ones; as Jennifer C. noted, “They [Resident Services] truly know and care about their residents. I feel reassured knowing my aunt is in a safe and compassionate community.” Our Resident Services staff intentionally look for the little intercessions that define friendship, fostering a sense of community and true caring at The Hickman.