You may find Anne Marie “Raclyn” Cauinian, our Director of Nursing, on the 8th floor early in the morning feeding residents, this is how Raclyn starts her day at Selfhelp, Raclyn has been described by her peers as a hands-on lead-by-example type of manager who will step in and help a resident whenever needed. Throughout the day Raclyn is on the floors visiting residents and checking in with staff, “sometimes residents are better during different times of the day, I like to see if there are changes, so I make sure I am not always visiting at the same time every day,” says Raclyn.
Originally from the Philippines, Raclyn left her country to start a nursing career in the United States over thirty years ago on a work visa. Back then, it was normal to leave your country and pursue a career without your family. She already had her Bachelor’s degree and a few years of experience under her belt and was ready for her next adventure.
Her Career Path Leading to Selfhelp
Raclyn worked at another healthcare facility for many years. Her old job was quite demanding and had an adverse effect on her well-being; she was seriously thinking of leaving due to the constant stress and lack of support. She first learned about The Selfhelp Home through an executive recruiter. Once Raclyn found out that Selfhelp was a not-for-profit organization, that became a major reason behind her decision to work here.
For the past five years, Raclyn has been a valuable team member and leader.
“The great thing about Selfhelp is that you have support, especially from the top, from our Executive Director, Sheila, and the Board …I haven’t found that at any other community. Here, it really feels like home. Everyone is accessible, easy to talk to, and willing to help each other.”
An Interdisciplinary Approach
As the Director of Nursing, Raclyn oversees the nursing staff, the nursing department and general operations. Every morning, she has a morning check in with the team to make sure everyone is on the same page, she makes her rounds to see how the residents are doing, hears reports from the staff and talks to resident family members.
“We really work as an interdisciplinary team, each department does their part to provide the best care for the residents – whether it’s the dietary department creating healthy meals or the maintenance team making sure the rooms are safe for our residents. You cannot be successful with just one department, everyone is an important part of the puzzle,” she says.
Last year, Raclyn had the excellent idea to host an educational Skills Fair for the team. Her goal was for Selfhelp staff to have the best possible training and led the team to plan the all-day training event where staff train the staff in what they do. At the Skills Fair, there was a table for every unit in our home (from infection control to dietary to therapy and nursing and wound care). Each team presented information, there were activities, games, rewards and prizes for the best table. The staff felt proud to showcase their talents and share information with their peers. It was also a chance to be creative and at the same time gain valuable knowledge to best support our residents.
Staying Strong During COVID
“From the time she walked thru the doors of Selfhelp there was a sense of relief, we especially felt her leadership during the pandemic, she was scared but showed us she was there with us,” said CNA on the Health & Rehabilitation floor, Tiunca Shoat. “During the pandemic, when my family and I had COVID-19, Raclyn personally called me every day to make sure everyone in my family was doing ok,” she added.
Raclyn stepped up to the challenge when Selfhelp was greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic:
“All of our protocols and the way we did things suddenly changed overnight. We had to do our best to stay strong and stay up to date with the latest news and guidance from the CDC. Through the pandemic, I have been watching educational webinars and reading articles every week to stay educated on the current regulations.”
As the Director of Nursing, Raclyn’s top priority has been to protect both the residents and staff from the virus, while still providing the five-star quality care that we’re known for.
Despite staff shortages and the difficult task of controlling the outbreaks, she worked diligently to ensure Selfhelp had the resources necessary to protect everyone. To this day, Raclyn continues to be an integral part of leading the home through challenging times. She continues taking special precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19 with cleaning protocols, visitor policies, testing, ongoing education, masking, and more.
“I believe in leading by example. I try to encourage our staff to do their best and do the right thing through my own actions. I want to empower my team and let them know I’m here for everyone.” – Raclyn
Raclyn’s Home Life
Her dedication, ideas, and compassion are present at work and in her personal life. While putting everything she has into being her best at work, she has five children to care for. Most of her children are adults and are out of the house pursuing careers of their own. Outside of work, Raclyn is an avid reader. She doesn’t spend a lot of time in front of the television, she’d rather open a good book or spend her free time brushing up on medical knowledge. She also enjoys staying active in her church and attends regularly, sometimes before coming to work.
When asked what she was most proud of she says:
“I’m most proud that we have a five-star rating, despite the criteria changes in how the star rating is judged. Now it’s even more difficult to obtain, yet we have continued to achieve this incredible accomplishment every year.”
One of her favorite things about working at The Selfhelp Home is that Selfhelp really cares about the residents. “The team really puts the extra effort into making it a comfortable, personal experience for everyone. The executives and staff have a very good relationship with the residents and their families too. You can tell when a facility’s priority is money. But here, we really care.”