Meet Our Staff

Lillian, RN

Learn the best advice Lillian received on how to be a great nurse at The Jewish Board, and why taking care of yourself improves how you can care for patients.

What made you want to become a nurse?

Some people say they feel like they were called to nursing, but for me, it feels like a field I sort of happily fell into. I had graduated high school and was deciding what I wanted to do for work. One day I was walking past the hospital in my neighborhood, and I saw they were giving a one-year course for Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN), and I decided to give it a try. I took the course and ended up being an LPN for several years until I decided to further my education and become an RN – and here we are nearly 60 years later!

For nurses, patient care can look different depending on the setting you’re in. What does patient care look like for you as a nurse at The Jewish Board?

We’re in constant contact with the residents on a daily basis, so it gets to feel like you’re just caring for your family member in a sense. We monitor and observe residents to make sure they’re physically healthy, we stay in close contact with their custodians like family and other caretakers like teachers or their doctors, and we care for them with everything from little everyday things like colds or maybe G.I. distress like a stomach-ache to bigger issues that arise. It’s different from a hospital setting, where nurses might rely on a doctor to make a judgment call and you fulfill their order. At The Jewish Board, we are more directly involved in making decisions ourselves, which we do by listening to clients and working with them to decide on the next move to make for their well-being.

What’s your favorite part about being a nurse at The Jewish Board?

Well, I love that I don’t have a traditional schedule and that the structure is what you make of it, which means that every day is different. But as I mentioned, the community residences can feel like you’re caring for a family member at home, so it can become like a second home which is also something I’ve come to really love. Like many people, I also just enjoy the good feeling that comes from being of service to others.

Who inspires you and why?

I don’t know if I can say this, but I honestly inspire myself, and sometimes we all have to do that. By gaining experience in the field and working my way through nursing at different levels and in different settings, you get a sense of how to nurture and care for your patients well, and I’ve just come to enjoy that. If you love what you do, the inspiration can come naturally from them. I’m with kids around middle school age, and I enjoy their company a lot. They keep you young and in touch with everything, and I really appreciate the impact I can have on them and their impact on me.

What’s the last song you listened to?

I like all types of music but probably something vintage or jazz. I like anything from Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.

You spend a lot of time caring for others, right? So what’s one way that you practice self-care?

I use my vacation! 🛳 I love a cruise, so that’s something I try to get away and do every six months. When it’s winter in New York, I go to the islands or wherever there’s a beach 🏖 and some warm water, and during New York summers, I’ll go someplace totally different where it is cooler or cold, even like Alaska. My favorite places have been Barbados since I have my heritage is from there, and I love their accents which sound a little British. I also really enjoy Jamaica – it’s very alive.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about being a Jewish Board nurse?

Listening well is crucial. Of course, we know how to care for patients based on our training and experience, but if you can’t listen well to what people are telling you first and foremost and talk WITH them as opposed to talking TO or AT them, then it’s time to check in with yourself. 

Do you have a message for your fellow nurses either at The Jewish Board?

Do your best: bring yourself and your personality to work so you can really love what you do. Roll with the punches: flexibility is important, and just being able to let things you can’t control roll off you easier by taking care of yourself. Listen to other ideas: learn from and talk with each other. The last thing is to further your education if and when you can.

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