Consulate Health Care of Safety Harbor’s Wendy Smith, LPN, is proof that if you have a goal, you need to chase it. Throughout the journey, prioritize your necessary tasks and what matters most to you, and give yourself grace, because most worthy accomplishments don’t materialize overnight.

Smith began her health care career journey in 2002 as a CNA, and can be considered a health care veteran now, as she has acquired experience in both the staffing and activities departments (and she is a certified activities director). Then in 2018, Smith began LPN school, and through her hard work and dedication, graduated with her LPN license last year.

“While working as a CNA over the years, I raised my three kids, and I never gave up on going further.” To anyone in health care who has aspirations to advance their career, Smith advised: “Stay focused, stay motivated. You have to want it. It won’t just come to you.”

Smith cites her former DON for pushing her to go further and for showing her all the different aspects of the care center and the industry overall.

Safety Harbor’s executive director, Daniel Charpentier, nominated Smith for her embodiment of Consulate’s five core values, particularly passion. He wrote: “Wendy has demonstrated the core value of passion by being devoted to her career in health care. She has shown dedication by returning to school and achieving her LPN license, and she continues to pursue her education with the goal of becoming a registered nurse. While continuing her education, she has always made a point to be a team player and remains devoted to the care she provides to the residents.”

When asked about what motivates her to walk into work each day, Smith enthusiastically replied: “I really enjoy the residents. I feel like the geriatric population deserves people who care about them. So I try to give them the best I can.”

While Smith explained that sometimes the shortage of staffing can be a challenge, the Safety Harbor crew bands together and compensates for it. “Teamwork makes the dream work. . . We have to work together, and we pull it off.”

"I feel like the geriatric population deserves people who care about them. So I try to give them the best I can.”

In addition to teamwork, Consulate’s five core values come into play at Consulate Health Care of Safety Harbor. For Smith, respect is the most crucial key to creating and maintaining a successful work environment. Smith spoke about the importance of respect, and revealed how it intertwines with compassion. “You need to still respect others and comply, even if you disagree with them, or if a patient is difficult or combative. You always still respect them anyway, and understand that they may be sick.”

Smith plans to continue giving her all to the residents and staff at Safety Harbor, and is currently pursuing her RN degree. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and going to the beach.

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