Pam Tipton is the new receptionist at Life Care Center of Rhea County in Dayton, Tennessee, but she arrived there for a completely different reason. It all started with an auto accident in May 2021. Pam tells her story.
I was in a head-on collision on my way to Cleveland, Tennessee. I was pinned in my vehicle and had to be cut out. I was transported to Erlanger [Hospital in Chattanooga] with numerous injuries: crushed right ankle – surgery the next morning to put in pins and metal plate; three broken vertebrae in back and neck; multiple broken ribs and hernia. I stayed six days at Erlanger and then transported to Life Care Center of Rhea County on May 17.
I was unable to get out of bed on my own. When out of bed, I needed to wear my back brace, and I was non-weightbearing on my foot. At first, it took two certified nursing assistants to roll and change me. It took two physical and occupational therapists to get me out of bed to do therapy in my room the first two weeks.
I needed assistance with all day-to-day functions – baths, changing clothes, brushing hair, etc.
I had OT and PT come to my room daily to help me stand, put me in a wheelchair and encourage me so I could get stronger every day. Once in a regular room (after quarantine), I was taken to the gym for OT and PT every day.
At first, I needed help rolling in the wheelchair. Each day, I would get stronger. I was pushed and encouraged.
I went from needing assistance with everything to being able to move around by myself in the wheelchair, to being able to wash myself and my hair.
I was released to go home on July 12.
All the staff, housekeeping, kitchen, CNAs, nurses, PT/OT, wound care and office were great. It was refreshing that when someone passed by me in the hall, that they knew my name and always greeted me. I became acquainted with other residents during group PT and OT, during activity time and in the dining room.
Once I went home, I thought of the staff and residents often. When I became able to go back to work, I decided to apply for a part-time receptionist position at Life Care Center of Rhea County. I was excited to be hired in September!
I went from being a resident and 100-percent dependent on the staff to working and becoming part of the Life Care family. I am hoping that my experience as a resident myself will give me a better understanding of how to be helpful to the residents, their family and the staff.
Thank you, Life Care Center of Rhea County, for getting me back home to my family and then giving me a chance to be a part of the Life Care Center of Rhea County team!