The first full week of May is National Nurses Week; the time when we all come together to show appreciation for our incredible nursing staff! So in honor of that, we wanted to shine the spotlight on the brilliant Director of Nursing for Journey Senior Living of Valparaiso, Sophia Politakis! Read on below to learn more about her and what makes her such an amazing nurse!
Why did you choose to pursue nursing? As a young girl, I always was fascinated & wanted to be a nurse. I would see them on TV all the time & of course any visits I made to a hospital, and in my mind I remember thinking “they know everything & are so caring and important.” I never had a change of heart since then. I truly believe I was born to be a nurse.
Why did you choose to work at Journey Senior Living? What brought my desire to work for Journey Senior Living was the mission statement. It encompasses all things I believe in as a nurse. Safety, security, love, compassion & dignity. As a nurse, these five things cannot be taught in any textbook, they are from within. I recall first talking with Blair & Melissa during my transition to Journey Senior Living, and I knew that they, as well as myself, valued, cared for, & desired the same core beliefs for our residents.
Is there a way in which the work you do feels personal? Do you have a family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia or are you connected to certain residents? My life has not personally been affected by Alzheimer’s or Dementia, up until I began working with residents, who essentially became my family. I think of my grandmother, who passed at the very young age of 61 years old. She was diagnosed and quickly passed away of ovarian cancer. I recall the sorrow & wishing I could have her around to see my life & things I desired to accomplish. In my heart I believe, I do this for my grandmother “yiayia”, because I would have given anything to have had her make it to the age of some of our residents & the quality of care she deserved & I expected, I can turn around and provide to our residents.
Do you have a special story from your time here? There are two stories regarding residents that are at the facility that make my heart full & restore my belief daily that this path I chose was the right one. One of the residents came from another facility where I was told they were unable to use utensils & essentially ate with their hands. I was not sure how, but I set my mind to finding a way to help this resident gain their ability to do so back. After observation from myself & input from my EXTRAORDINARY nursing staff, this resident is now using utensils & eating meals like everyone deserves to.