When she was a little girl, Linda Watson, new administrator at Deseret Health and Rehabilitation of Pratt, would go with her grandmother to visit her great-grandmother in a nursing home.
Watson remembered how much the residents enjoyed having children in the facility. Those visits inspired her to seek a career in care facility administration and now she is leading the Deseret staff in improvements at the facility.
Keeping staff morale high is one of her goals for the facility. When she visited Deseret during her interview process, she was impressed with the friendliness of the staff.
“It felt like a very comfortable place,” Watson said.
She has spent a lot of time visiting with the staff and the CNA council and soliciting ideas for improvement at the facility.
One area of improvement is the restorative aid program that helps residents resume some of their daily living activities Watson said.
The staff works with residents to help them get back some of the daily living skills they may have lost because of their individual health situations. These activities help improve the residents life style at the facility.
The facility also has a new director of nursing, Brittany Mead.
Mead and Watson have been working a lot on Quality Assurance to make sure that each resident gets exactly the treatment and medication prescribed to them.
“We’re making sure what we do is the best,” Watson said.
Another change at the facility is the new open dining concept. Residents can now go to meals when they are ready. Sometimes residents got a little hungry before dinnertime but now they can go eat at their own leisure instead of having to go and wait for everyone else to be brought in for a meal.
Part of her future plans includes looking for ways to expand their already extensive activities program to improve the resident’s quality of life.
Watson has been impressed with the staff from the beginning and especially their concern for the well being of the residents at Deseret.
Deseret went through a remodel that included new floors, changes in therapy rooms and painting. More painting is going on to help make the facility the best it can be for the residents.
Watson said she is still learning all the technical aspects of the facility and making sure Deseret meets all the state codes and requirements.
In the meantime she is taking as much time as possible to get to know the residents. Watson is a history buff and she spends a lot of time talking with the residents and hearing the stories of their past.
“I like listening to their history,” Watson said.
Watson is a graduate of Wichita State University with degrees in health services management and community development. She has a masters degree in gerontology and a graduate certificate for public health.