Medical Records Coordinator Vanessa Chandler exemplifies Consulate’s core values by running the extra mile for her residents and their families. Now an 11-year Franco Nursing and Rehabilitation Center veteran, Chandler has faced her fair share of personal struggles and life’s tumultuous ups and downs.
In recent years, Chandler’s mother fell seriously ill; her brother passed away of cancer; her son fractured his ankle and had to sit out a season of playing football; and on top of that, her husband was struck by a car. Her husband has been recovering from the hit for over a year now, and Chandler recounted how she’s needed to nurture both her husband and son back to health, (as she’s the only one in her family with medical experience).
Despite the tragedies, losses, and obstacles, all this shock to the system didn’t deter Chandler from working hard and giving her best to the Franco residents and sharing her tender, loving care and heart to them.
Felica Phillips, Franco’s executive director, relayed a recent example of Chandler’s work ethic and dedication: “A new admission was coming in, and housekeeping had already left for the day, so Vanessa cleaned the entire room for them—including changing the linens and mopping the floor. All without being asked or looking for recognition.”
Chandler elaborated. “I was making my rounds and getting ready to leave. I checked out the room for the new admission, but the room wasn’t ready, and I knew the resident was coming. . . I was already punched out, but I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave it. So I just took care of it and cleaned the room, sterilized the bed, got the room ready, and made the admission kit.”
Chandler said, “Even though I’m in medical records, I interact with patients as well. . . and I get attached. The interaction with the patients gives me drive. If I come in with a bright smile and positivity when they’re feeling down, they say it makes them feel better.”
When listening to Chandler’s experiences, her genuine heart for the Franco patients shines, even through the phone and across state lines and miles away. Chandler possesses a special connection with the individuals at Franco, utilizing both logic and compassionate, intuitive discernment.
While completing her mock surveys, she pays special attention to each and every resident. “If it looks like a resident has a concern, I address it… Because that’s what we do,” she explained. Chandler relayed a recent story in which she was unable to make a particular resident smile. In this particular instance, Chandler said she “felt led in [her] spirit” to try reaching out again and gently inquire about what was going on.
In short, this resident opened up and confided in Chandler about unresolved issues in her life outside Franco. Chandler said, “Come to my office and we’ll figure this out.”
As to be expected, Chandler took the time and smoothed out the issue. The resident was “so happy,” Chandler explained, the joy in her voice bubbling through the phone.
Chandler celebrated a birthday recently, and to thank her, this special resident made the effort to come all the way upstairs to Chandler’s office to deliver her flowers and a card. Chandler—visibly touched—said, “That impact alone made my day. That’s what it’s really all about. Not only here [within the care center walls], but outside. It does wonders for me. At the end of the day, I felt awesome. I said, wow. And it drives you to want to spread that caring and love. With all the division in this country… we need it more now than ever.”
Unsurprisingly, Chandler’s primary core value is compassion. “If you have enough compassion, then you will have passion, then you will have honesty. . . if you’re compassionate to others, then you have to have respect. If you start with compassion, then everything else falls into place. . . I like what I do, I have pride in it. I wear my heart on my sleeve.” Chandler emphasized the importance of continuously aiming high. “Sometimes I feel like what I do is never enough… But that’s what gives me that drive… to strive.”
For anyone working in a medical records department, Chandler humbly advised: “Stay organized, stay people-oriented. Keep an open mind. Be a team player, and put patients first. I try to stay positive as much as possibly can. . . I’ve learned over the years that you have to stay true to yourself, own up to your own doing, do the best you can in life, try to give more than what is expected of you.”
With everything that Chandler (and her family) have been through, Chandler needed to place her future plans on hold. However, in the future she intends to earn her RN degree.
In her free time, Chandler enjoys socializing, spending quality time with family, and watching Lifetime movies.
Thank you for going above and beyond for our residents, Vanessa! Consulate appreciates and values you and your hard work.
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