Behind The Mask & The Scrubs: Inge Lindstrom

Behind the Mask & the Scrubs

Inge Lindstrom
PPS Coordinator
Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center

Gulf Coast Health Care wants to share the stories of our dedicated and compassionate associates with our communities. We want everyone to know who they are behind the masks and scrubs they put on daily to take care of our patients when they need it most. It takes some amazing individuals to fill the shoes of a caregiver!

“Being in the health care field can be very challenging and as a nurse I sometimes get asked the question ‘why do you keeping doing it?’. My answer is always: the love I have for people. There are definitely situations that I remember the most. I vividly remember one resident in particular who went from being independent becoming fully dependent on others. He came to our facility to receive therapy, to grow stronger and possibly discharge home. This did not happen overnight. After years of overcoming many challenges, he was able to go home and live with his family. I will always remember the joy I felt for being a part of something that really mattered.

My first step into health care was choosing to become a C.N.A. My grandmother was growing ill and she needed someone to care for her. I wanted to do the best job possible and felt that becoming a CNA was the right step in that direction. I was soon not only able to care for her but others as well.

It always helps to remind yourself that some days are more positive than others. One thing I like to say to remind myself of this is ‘Tomorrow is a new day.’ No matter what today brings, you can always look forward to knowing each day brings its own positive changes.

The best thing about waking up and going to work at a skilled nursing facility is being able to touch new lives every day. Not many people know that our centers also provide short term care for people who are ready to get back home but need a little bit of help to get there. It’s exciting knowing that each day we get to encourage and help those who need it the most, to keep them going until their goal of going home is met.

In the nursing field, you learn pretty quickly that each day brings new challenges and hardships. The best way to overcome this is to understand that each day is an opportunity to grown and learn. We must have a positive attitude even when you don’t feel positive. I like to remember that smiles are always contagious and burn more calories.

The hardest thing about my career path is learning that ‘Quality of Life’ doesn’t always mean ‘Quantity of Life’. Being a nurse during end of life care never gets easier but is very rewarding at the same time. It reminds me that every day for every resident is so important and we should bring joy to them every chance we get.

I have been working at Oakbrook for 18 years. I have seen it grow and change with each year I work here. However, the one thing that I love that never does seem to change is the family atmosphere. Everyone knows everyone. This includes residents and staff. We often provide care to our teachers, bankers, baby sitters, and neighbors whom we have had the privilege of growing up with. In health care, continuity of care is so important and often hard to provide. I feel like we can provide that when so many other facilities are not able to do so.

My community is one of a kind and known for our laid-back atmosphere and swamp cabbage fritters. One of my favorite things that I love about my community is how everyone is willing to work together to help others. We used to love being a part of the relay for life. It always touched my heart to see all the small businesses, young and old, come together to raise money for such an awesome cause. It reminds me of how important it is to always stay connected to your community and help out whenever possible.”

Inge Lindstrom, PPS Coordinator, Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center