Inside Athena: Cape Heritage’s “Miracle Worker” Creating the Nursing Schedule

Inside Athena: Cape Heritage’s “Miracle Worker” Creating the Nursing Schedule

SANDWICH, M.A. — Deb Kristy has dedicated the past 20 years of her career to the residents and staff at Cape Heritage Rehabilitation & Health Care Center.

She joined as a C.N.A. where she stayed for 14 years before becoming the scheduler for the nursing department. She will frequently fill in as a C.N.A. when needed and reconnect with residents.

“There’s quite a few of us who have been here for quite a while and the residents see you every day, they get to know you,” she said. “[The residents will] say, ‘Where have you been?'”

There are three main reasons she has stayed at the Cape Cod center: the residents, the people, and her work. She’s always had a caregiver personality. As the oldest of 10, she’s been watching out for others since a young age.

Kristy alongside Director of Nursing Cara Coull-McKay and Administrator Dutch Hayward receiving her Employee of the Month certificate.

To this day, she wants the residents to know she is there to help with anything they need, and that they shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for assistance. Each resident may have a different goal whether that’s being able to maintain their independence or getting to a point where they can go back into the community. Either way, Kristy is going to help them achieve that goal.

“You’ve got to think of yourself in their spot,” she said.

Kristy, who has lived on Cape Cod for 38 years, works with the nursing department to make sure staffing ratios are being met. Director of Nursing Cara Coull-McKay calls her a “miracle worker.”

“Her dedication is remarkable, her main goal is to make sure the residents are taken care of. Deb’s heart is always in the right place, she works with staff to “make it work”, for all involved. I am fortunate to have worked with such an amazing woman in my career,” Coull-McKay said.

It’s about communication with the staff, Kristy said. She tries to accommodate everybody’s wants and needs to make sure residents are getting the care they deserve. Her work hasn’t gone unnoticed. She was selected as the February 2024 Employee of the Month after receiving several nominations.

Kristy notes the center makes every effort to ensure residents have a meaningful home at Cape Heritage, even if for the short term. The rehabilitation, the activities, and the care are areas she expressed pride.

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February 22, 2024 A Healthier Approach To Caring, Inside Athena