Barbara Creasman is the first friendly face that residents and visitors greet when they walk through the doors of the Oaks at Sweeten Creek. Luckily, Creasman’s receptionist duty isn’t something she takes lightly.
Now a 17-year Sweeten Creek veteran, Creasman started out at the center as a CNA, and assisted with transportation by driving residents to their appointments in the Sweeten Creek van. Eventually, she moved into the role of the nurse’s station clerk, where she served for ten years.
After that, she transitioned into her current role at the front desk, where she has worked for the past five years. She said, “They asked me to move into this job, and I love it—so I stayed. I love my job and I love the people.” However, she still pitches in as a CNA when needed. Without hesitation, Creasman said that her favorite part of working at the Oaks are the residents. “They make you laugh everyday. . . They like to tell you about times when they were growing up,” she explained. “I love my job. I feel guilty if I don’t come to work—like I’m letting someone down.”
This comes as no surprise. Creasman exuded warmth and a compassionate demeanor over the phone. Tim Lane, Executive Director of the Oaks at Sweeten Creek, sung his praises of Creasman: “Barbara Creasman’s current job title is receptionist. However, the role she plays and its importance to the care and well-being of residents and others of this facility cannot be captured in any job title. Barbara often goes well beyond her job role to provide support, direction, and encouragement to residents, families, and other staff. Our building is in the shape of a wagon wheel, with the nurses station in the very center. The receptionist spot is close to the nurses station, so residents know exactly where to go to get their money when they want it. Visitors also have to pass by, and many of them can be heard asking how their loved one is doing. When family members call to check on their loved one, they don’t ask for the nurse. They ask for Barbara. Why? Because Barbara has won the respect of families, residents, and staff with her sometimes brutal honesty, and her genuine concern for the well-being of other people.”
Creasman stated that of all the core values, honesty, compassion, and integrity are most crucial. For Creasman, honesty is always the best policy, and compassion (and empathy, a close relative) should be interwoven in every social exchange of the day, every single day.
Creasman is the kind of staff member who takes the time to fully lean into her natural instinct and heart of compassion, and truly listen to residents during a potentially vulnerable time, when a listening ear is what they need most of all. If any troubles with residents or family members arise at the care center, Creasman stated calmly: “I listen to them and explain why things happened the way they did, and why that had to be that way. . . I don’t look at anything as a challenge.”
In his nomination of Creasman, Tim Lane offered a plethora of instances in which Creasman has gone above and beyond—from providing residents the chance to call their spouses, to straightening up disabled residents’ rooms and preparing them for visitors, to gently encouraging patients to attend doctor’s appointments, and to meeting each and every employee or resident exactly where they are, and helping them through like no one else can.
Lane elaborated further: “Barbara Creasman’s name appears on the Employee Recognition board several times a week for numerous positive actions. The recognition is earned as well as deserved. This is one special lady, and we are all blessed to have her working in our industry. I am honored to nominate her for our company’s CHIRP Spotlight.”
It’s no shock that Creasman’s advice to those working in the health care industry is permeated with such unadulterated compassion and love. She said, “Love them all and treat them all the same. This is their home. We are a guest in their home. All residents are your patients. Every resident in the building is every CNA’s patient. [Each individual CNA] may take care of only a few of them, but every resident in this building belongs to you. Take care of all of them and go answer every call and help everyone you can, regardless if they’re assigned to you.”
In her free time, Creasman loves to spend time with her three great-grandchildren. She hopes to fly out to California one day soon to visit them.
Thank you, Barbara, for serving Consulate so well! We are lucky to have you in our community.