The Selfhelp Home is excited to share that our very own Samten “Sam” Wangmo, CNA, is one of two winners selected by LeadingAge for the “Hearts and Hands” 2022 Honoring Excellence Award Program.
Honoring Excellence is LeadingAge Illinois’ award program that recognizes individuals and organizations that put quality first, deliver excellence and inspire others to do the same: “This award is given to an individual who embraces person centered care/service through efforts that go beyond those normally considered within the position’s job description. The individual demonstrates exceptional relationships with residents/clients that provides special enrichment, increases quality of life to the residents/ clients, and recognizes and responds to the residents/clients needs and values. This individual recognizes opportunities to create personalized experiences and acts on those opportunities creating an enhanced experience for the residents/clients.”
Samten “Sam” Wangmo has been a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at The Selfhelp Home for 14 years and is a very valuable staff member at our home. Sam was born in India and speaks three different languages: English, Hindi, and Tibetan. Back home, she worked in an elderly facility where she found her passion.
“I nominated Sam because she has exceptional leadership. She always volunteers and takes initiative regardless of her busy schedule. She has a positive outlook on life and always makes our residents happy.” – Ivory Rodriguez, RN, Director of Assisted Living
Going the Extra Mile to Give a Personal Touch
Sam embraces person-centered care through the efforts that go beyond those normally considered within her job description. Her interactions with our residents come from a place of true compassion and care. She focuses on our residents’ emotional needs and care preferences that are consistent with their lifestyle. Rather than assisting our residents with task-centered approaches, she emphasizes on the rapport that she has established with them and has forged meaningful relationships with many of our residents.
For example, we had a resident who was anxious on her first day of joining our Assisted Living community. The resident kept calling for a staff member to come to her apartment because she was having a difficult time adjusting. Sam used her break time to spend quality time getting to know the resident, comforting her, and keeping her company. She continued to check on her during her shift until the resident was peacefully sleeping in their bed. The following day, Sam asked how the resident was even though it was her day off. Sam always goes the extra mile showing personal care, kindness, and compassion to our residents.
“Sam is so warm, friendly, gentle, and caring.” – Phyllis, Resident
Encouraging Autonomy and Independence Through Intentional Care
Sam is known for maximizing the residents’ independence by respecting their autonomy, providing them with choices, and integrating their preferences into the plan of care. She also focuses on their abilities, not their limitations. Sam encourages the residents to participate at their maximum functional ability and with her joyful personality; she is always cheering them on. For example, there was a resident who showed signs of decreased motivation and endurance. He became dependent on his wheelchair and chose not to walk. Despite therapy, the resident lacked participation. Sam kept encouraging him and joking with him. This particular resident enjoyed making jokes about the ladies a lot. Sam jokingly told him that if he doesn’t start walking, he can’t chase after the ladies anymore. Sam continued to encourage him to walk. Afterwards, the resident walked down the hallway with the therapist while Sam cheered him on.
Even further, Sam demonstrates an exceptional commitment to the residents by recognizing and responding to their needs and values. As mentioned previously, she prioritizes our residents’ preferences and includes them in their healthcare decisions. She continues to foster a relationship of respect and collaboration while caring for them. Sam takes specific actions to enhance and enrich the lives of the residents by going out of her way to ensure they have everything they need. For example, when we have a resident who needs to purchase something from the store and unable to get it themselves, Sam goes out of her way to go to the store and purchase the items for them. She does not expect any compensation and does it purely out of the kindness of her heart.
Bringing Positivity, Joy, and Kindness to Our Home
Sam recognizes opportunities to create personalized experience and acts on those opportunities contributing to the quality of life for our residents. She has a kind heart, selfless, and passionate about what she does. Sam’s positive energy brings joy and smiles to our residents. She does not view her workplace as an employment, but rather a second home. Sam’s charisma engages our residents as well as promotes great quality of life.
“I don’t have parents, they are already gone. But I always treat the residents like I would treat my parents.”- Samten “Sam” Wangmo, CNA