Marietta Valdivieso, Staff LVN
"I love my work! I’m dealing with life here!"
As a licensed vocational nurse in charge of an entire unit of the new Joyce Eisenberg Keefer Medical Center, Marietta Valdivieso oversees the care of 24 skilled nursing residents — supervising or performing doctors’ orders, assessing residents for admission, and providing hands-on care.
As she delivers some of the Home’s highest levels of medical care, Marietta attends to every resident personally, coming to know each individual and their family. This extra measure of involvement accounts for some of Marietta’s popularity with residents and families, who constantly write to the Home with words of thanks and praise for her practice of going “above and beyond.”
Residents speak of Marietta as a "true friend" and a "sister" interested in pains large and small, and never too busy to stop and alleviate problems, or make a resident laugh with her well-known humor.
"I’m a little old-fashioned" she says. "If a CNA [certified nursing assistant] tells me someone’s blood pressure is high and requests medication, I go to the resident immediately, ask them how they are, if they have any pain or headache, or if they’re feeling tired, stressed, or angry."
"Electronics are wonderful," Marietta says, "but they’re not perfect. So I check everything manually, and then I check it again."
Knowing her patients and preventing unnecessary medication are two parts of what Marietta considers better medical practice. She also credits the Home’s generous patient-caregiver ratio for giving residents and their families confidence and peace of mind.
"Twenty-four sounds like a lot of patients," she says, "but the typical patient load in our field is from 35 to 45 per LVN. At most nursing homes, it’s one CNA for every nine to twelve patients. At the Home we have one CNA for every five!"
The confidence Marietta feels in the Home finds its way to her patients and their families. "This place is very special — plentiful and fresh supplies, a very clean environment, and our own pharmacy. Our residents depend on us," she says, "and I love them! I want to help."