Wanda Dove, RN, at Kings Daughters Community Health and Rehabilitation Center in Staunton, VA is extremely dedicated to the patients in the care center. As the unit manager in the skilled nursing unit, she always tries to improve quality of life for her patients. She has come up with a unique way to brighten the environment for her patients by sharing the fruits of her beloved hobby.
Wanda is a talented artist who crafts, sketches, and paints in her free time. To keep the surroundings in the care center fresh and updated, Wanda brings her completed artwork to Kings Daughters and shares it with the patients. Brian Reinmann, the executive director at Kings Daughters, was so enthusiastic about displaying Wanda’s artwork, he designated a special area in the care center for an art gallery. The day we interviewed Wanda, she had brought in her seasonal holiday-themed artwork to update the gallery.
To understand how Wanda developed into such a compassionate caregiver, it’s helpful to learn a little about her early years. When Wanda was approximately 10 years old, her older brother was in a terrible car accident and was not expected to live. One special nurse that took care of her brother made a big impression on Wanda. Wanda’s brother was not a very willing patient and would try to sneak out of traction. If he did his physical therapy as directed, the nurse would allow him special treats. She would allow his friends to visit and sometimes sneak in food. This nurse was able to get him to do therapy and get things done without sacrificing her professionalism. Wanda told us that at that young age, she decided that she would love to be able to do that. When Wanda became a nurse approximately 30 years later, “I modeled myself after her.” She reminds her patients, “You give some effort, and then there will be some fun in return.”
Spending time with residents is one of Wanda’s favorite things about her job. Since she is in the skilled unit, most of her patients come in to do therapy and end up leaving. She feels a great sense of accomplishment when they are able to walk out the door after therapy. Most patients meet that goal, but some don’t, and they become long-term care residents. She told us that the patients that end up staying become part of the family. She loves that everyone has a story and she appreciates hearing them all, whether it’s the story of a man who was in the military or a current patient who is a retired nurse.
We learned something very exciting about Wanda, too! On December 6th, 2018 Wanda got married to the love of her life. She got remarried to her ex-husband of 34 years! Together, they have two adult sons and two cats who are their “babies.” When asked about her future, Wanda said that she plans to continue working at Kings Daughters, which she said is one of the best care centers in the area. We think she is the absolute best and can’t wait to see the new beautiful artwork that she so generously shares.