Charlene Revell, LPN at Consulate Health Care of Windsor in Windsor, Virginia, knew she wanted to be a nurse back in high school, while taking occupational health classes in eleventh and twelfth grades. But her affinity for seniors started even earlier. She said, “As a child I would go sit with the elderly, do housework for them, watch TV with them, and run their errands.”
However, right out of graduation, she served others in a different field—by joining the military. Fast forward 20 years, and Revell still carried a dream of nursing. Once out of the military, Revell went to school and worked as a home health aide while earning her LPN credentials.
Now she has eight years of LPN experience under her belt, and has spent the past four at CHC of Windsor. She said: “There are many long-term residents. You just develop a good relationship with them, and they’re just a joy to work with, because I like talking to the elderly about their past… To me, they’re more than just a person in a room with little bed and a closet—there’s a lot of history behind them, and if they’re able to talk about it, I ask them questions.”
You could hear a smile creep into her voice over the phone as she spoke about her patients and her love for them: “It’s the little things that all of the residents contribute that just make my day. They all bring a little something.”
Revell considers respect the foundation of all five Consulate core values. She explained, “Everybody deserves respect. We have to give it our residents, because it’s their home. That’s one thing I emphasize to people—that we are guests in their house. So we’re going to have to respect how they do things and live their lives, as long as it’s not harmful. . . If someone’s just sitting in their wheelchair in the middle of the hallway, you’re gonna have to walk around them. Even if you’re moving around with a big med cart, just walk around politely and say ‘excuse me.’ Respect their space, and the fact that this is their house. This is where they choose to sit at this specific time.”
Revell also knows the importance of extending respect to management and staff members as well, because when the team respects one another, the residents are better served. Despite their unique walks of life and any personal conflicts they may face, Revell emphasized: “When you walk through those doors, you put your professional hat on, and you get your job done.”
In fact, Revell’s fellow team members boost her experience at CHC of Windsor, and make all the difference. She said, “The atmosphere is important to me. It feels like a family. Coworkers make a big difference, because we have teamwork going on. . . Teamwork makes the dream work. At the end of the shift, we go home with a smile. When we go home, everybody’s good.”
Tomika Robertson-Sykes, a fellow staff member at CHC of Windsor, nominated Revell for this honor, and wrote: “Ms. Charlene is one of the hardest working nurses I know. She is always teaching her CNAs something. She is always willing to help solve problems. She takes pride in her work. She is always willing to lend a helping hand.”
Revell says she doesn’t think of herself as a teacher, but she possesses a contagious desire to learn more and pass on all the knowledge she gains. She stresses the importance of continuously learning, and taking control of your own future. “Most CNAs are younger than me, and I tell them, ‘don’t stop learning, always set goals.’”
She doesn’t believe in New Years’ resolutions. “Start even before the new year comes in. What do you want to do long-term, short-term? What are your interests? Come up with a plan. Figure out a way.”
Revell invests in those working alongside her, because she knows that the pursuit of knowledge and tip-top compassionate care works best as a team effort. “I like to share information. No man is an island. We all need to know how to do these things.”
Her down-to-earth attitude and sense of humility serve her and the community at Windsor well. She explained, “It’s not just about me—it takes a village. It takes a team of us at Consulate. We have a great management team, and with the people we have on board now, Consulate is going to be better than it already is.”
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