Team Highlight: Interview with Absolut Care of Aurora Park’s Director of Nursing, Cyndee Foss

Cyndee Foss is the Director of Nursing at Absolut Care’s Aurora Park location. She has been in the Long-term care industry for 23 years. She’s held positions at every level in the nursing industry and leverages her experience in her current role at Absolut Care.

In this interview, Cyndee discusses her work in the adult care facility as well as the importance of positivity.

 

Q: When did you start working for Absolut Care?

I worked here as an LPN at Absolut Care in 1997 for a few years on and off,  and I returned last in 2010. I’ve been working here as an RN ever since.

Q: What drew you to the industry? 

My passion for taking care of the elderly. 

I started off in long-term care at 16 in a dietary aid role at a local nursing home in my hometown. I  grew up in healthcare. My grandma and mom both worked for state homes – so growing up they would take me to work with them where I’d get to spend time with the residents. 

When I was  22, I became a CNA and a fellow nurse wouldn’t listen to my concerns about a patient who I was sure had a problem.  

This inspired me to become a nurse that would listen to input from the aides. 

In my current role as a Director, I believe having experience in a variety of roles gives me a unique perspective as well as a level of respect with my peers.

Q: What are some changes you’re passionate about making in your role as Director of Nursing?

At Absolut Care, I make sure to drive home our mission statement that no matter what position you’re in, the number one top priority is the resident. Our mantra is that you treat every resident like they’re your mother, father, grandmother, or yourself.

I used to think you couldn’t teach caring. But, when Ito looked outside the box, I realized that workplace values come from the top down. 

The news does not portray nursing homes positively, but there are some really amazing things we do for residents here that change their lives for the better every day.

Q: What does your day to day look like? 

On the day to day, I make rounds at the facility, visit the residents as well as staff, and perform on-the-spot training if necessary. If I see that a resident needs something, I will address it personally even if I don’t directly oversee them. I’m a firm believer in leading by example, so I encourage every staff member to take ownership whatever the task may be. 

My day also includes meetings with social workers, nurses, and therapists so we can collaborate  together on important decisions for our residents. As the Director of Nursing, it’s also essential for me to accommodate the needs of the staff while always making the residents a priority.  I look for ways for our staff to work smarter, not harder.

Q: What is your favorite part about working at Absolut Care? 

My favorite part is meeting with the residents. When I’m having a rough day, it brings me a lot of joy and comfort to interact with them and to be able to provide for them. I love to help make their day better, even if it’s by doing something as simple as making their favorite can of Campbell’s soup.

Q: Did you have a role model that influenced your success?

Growing up, I had a professor during my transition from an LPN to an RN. One of the most important things she taught me was that there truly is a difference between an LPN and an RN, not just in the scope of practice, but in the critical thinking approach necessary to perform the role as an RN. That was a very formative lesson for me.

Additionally, the previous Director of Nursing here at Absolut Care taught me the importance of remaining calm and staying positive. She taught me how to respond and not react emotionally. Whenever we have hectic days, I remind my staff that they’re doing a great job taking care of our residents.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work? Any secret talents or hobbies you want to share with the readers? 

Aside from riding dirt bikes and reading, I love spending time with my family. I spend my Saturdays with my mom who needs assistance. 

In the last three to four years, she was diagnosed with a life-altering condition and was told her chance of survival was less than 10%. 

She needed daily assistance and care. Despite being an hour away from Absolut Care, I wanted her here because I knew the level of care she would receive.  The providers here transformed my mother’s health and most of them had no idea she was my mother. That really shows me how dedicated our staff is to every patient we serve.

She can do things she’s never been able to do before. One day a CNA did her hair and nails.  It wasn’t until later I found out she had never gotten a pedicure in her life. Now we often spend our Saturdays getting our nails done together.

 

About Absolut Care

Absolut Care provides quality long-term care, subacute rehabilitation, memory care and respite care for short-term stays.  Absolut Care prides itself on a highly committed team of highly-trained medical professionals, state-of-the-art facilities, and excellent leadership to deliver quality care to its resident and patients.