Debbie Whitted has only been at her care center for two and a half years, but she draws upon vast experience in the healthcare field to make a difference. Her prior work, in combination with the values instilled by her family, allow her to make an incredible impact on her patients at Plantation Bay Rehabilitation Center in St. Cloud, Florida.

Debbie is currently a unit manager at Plantation Bay. She started her career in healthcare when she was 18 years old, and has always worked with the elderly or with individuals who have special needs. Before coming to the St. Cloud area, Debbie worked in New York in just one organization for 23 years. She said that coming to St. Cloud was a great move for her and her husband, who is disabled. The weather and sunshine make life a bit easier.

Debbie never thought that she would find the same kind of warm, family-oriented workplace like the one she had in New York. She is delighted to have found a new work family at Plantation Bay, and commented on how she loves the teamwork among the staff. She also said that work never gets dull because she is constantly learning from the residents and other employees at Plantation Bay.

"...she loves the teamwork among the staff."

Although Debbie’s parents are no longer alive, they continue to be a driving force behind Debbie’s compassionate and kind actions. She remembers her mother fondly as being the “best nurse in the world,” and knows that her mother and father are watching over her all of the time. Debbie also likes to treat all of her patients as if they are her parents.

When asked about challenges at work, Debbie said that sometimes reassuring family members can be the hardest thing to do. Debbie recalled a particularly hard-to-please family member of one of her residents. After getting close to the family, Debbie learned that the caregiver herself was a cancer survivor who was going through a physically and mentally exhausting amount of  testing, all while also being worried about her spouse . Debbie said that it is so important to understand that “we don’t always have the whole story, and we don’t know why people act the way they do sometimes.” As Debbie learns more about the patients and their families, she finds that she is even more driven to give every bit of herself to her job of providing excellent care.

Integrity is the core value that Debbie thinks is most important. She said she always behaves “as if someone is watching her.” She told us about a particular male resident whose wife called to the nurses’ station every night. On occasion, the staff member who answered the call might forget to tell the gentleman that his wife called to say goodnight. If that happened, Debbie would always make a point to go into the resident’s room and tell him that his wife had said goodnight, even though he was not able to acknowledge that he heard the information.

Debbie looks forward to continuing her work at Plantation Bay, where she has found her new work family. Welcome to the family, Debbie. You fit in just perfectly!