Member Spotlight: Teresa Hafner of Bickford Senior Living of Muscatine

November 19, 2020

Teresa Hafner’s experience as a massage therapist working with stroke victims led her to becoming a charge nurse in long-term care. As the director of Bickford Senior Living of Muscatine, Teresa enjoys making life enjoyable and meaningful for those she cares for.

How did you get started in the long-term care profession?
I was a massage therapist and helped people in long-term care that had suffered strokes. That experience led me to becoming a nurse in 2004 and working in long-term care as a charge nurse.

What do you like most about working in long-term care?
I enjoy spending time with the residents and learning many things from them. They are full of knowledge and they enjoy sharing it with me.

What would you tell others to encourage them to consider a career in long-term care?
I would tell them that it is a great feeling to be able to make someone feel important and loved. The residents are all different and need different things to be happy.

What lessons have you learned working in long-term care that also help you outside of work?
We are faced with things that are out of our control, and we must make the best of things to make life enjoyable and meaningful. We do this for our residents on a daily basis.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy spending time with my new niece, gardening and planting flowers, fishing with my husband, crafting and traveling.

What is your favorite quote and why?
For work, my favorite quote is, “Put yourself in their shoes.” I use this quote to encourage our staff to have patience, understand how residents feel when they need to ask for help and to show compassion.

In my personal life, my favorite quote its, “There is always something to be thankful for.” I had a heart transplant in 2015, and I know that I am blessed and am very thankful to be here to continue to do the things I love and care for others.

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