Valley Manor RN recognized for exceptional nursing

BARRY’S BAY – A registered nurse at the Valley Manor Nursing Home has received a prestigious award that recognizes nursing excellence.
Chantel Weatherbed was one of two RNs province-wide that received the Nurse Leadership Award from the Ontario Long Term Care Association. It recognizes the best of the best in nursing and comes with a $2,500 cash prize as well.
She was nominated by Director of Care Gail Yantha, who filled out a lengthly application earlier this year.
“She excels excellence in nursing leadership,” Yantha explained. “That’s demonstrated through her daily duties and her attention to the smallest of detail here at the Valley Manor, particularly to the residents.”
Weatherbed discovered she was chosen in November and attended a gala in Markham with Yantha and Claudia Coulas, personal support worker at the manor,
“It’s huge,” Weatherbed said. “I still get emotional about it…When I got the call, I took about 10 minutes by myself to reflect and try to absorb it.”
Part of the reason Yantha nominated Weatherbed was her work on the responsive behaviours program that the RN helped initiate at the manor in 2012.
It was an initiative to help combat physical aggression through the use of tools like music and sensory boards. Weatherbed, the program’s facilitator, now tracks the success of the initiative which has been rolled out to all corners of the manor.
She said it has become so successful, that certain zones in the manor have seen a significant decrease in aggression incidents.
The RN said she has a photo of a resident that she uses to prove the program’s success. It pictures a man smiling as he listens to music through his headphones.
“He’s got the best smile ever, I didn’t even know that man could smile like that,” Weatherbed explained. “He was always frowning and calling out. We weren’t sure what we were missing. We have given him such life. We have improved the quality of his life and that’s what the program is about.”
Weatherbed was born in Kitchener but raised in Barry’s Bay. She wanted a career in healthcare because her grandmother, who was a diabetic, lived with the family at the time.
“I just knew that geriatrics was where I wanted to be,” Weatherbed explained.
Read more in the December 18, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.