Inside Athena: Director of Nursing Modeling Good Behavior at Bayview
WATERFORD, C.T. — Lisa Coe is passionate about Bayview Health Center in Waterford.
She became the Director of Nursing Services in February, coming from a regional nurse role with the company. She had previously worked at Wadsworth Glen Health Care and Rehabilitation Center in Middletown.
“There was something very special about this building,” she said. “I saw that there were people here who had a lot of vested interest in seeing this building succeed.”
In her role, she supports the nursing and nursing assistant staff. Through her studies, she finds the most important role in the nursing home is the C.N.A.s and wants them to feel supported as they are the “foundation of nursing practice.”
“The most important part of the Director of Nursing role is to share a philosophy of caring for the nursing department to help to model good nursing behaviors at all levels of practice from the C.N.A. role all the way up to the supervisory and leadership roles,” said the University of St. Josephs graduate.
Having an engaged D.N.S. is very important to Coe because, if they aren’t engaged and interested in what’s happening with the team, the team won’t feel supported. The D.N.S. also has to be invested with the families and patients to build trust. She explains how those relationships have to exist because the care is centered around the patient. She’ll often share her phone number with the families so they can reach out whenever they need support or have questions. If she doesn’t have the answer, she’s glad to walk alongside them to figure it out.
“The biggest challenge, I think sometimes, for the Director of Nursing is developing trusting relationships and maintaining safe spaces for nurses at all levels to not only be able to succeed but also to be able to try things to move the department forward,” Coe said.
She had left Athena for a position closer to home but had always been a proud supporter of the company. When the opportunity for her to rejoin and come back on the eastern side of Connecticut opened, she knew it was the right move. She also has an adult disabled child who lives with her and, when people ask how she manages it all, she explains how having a supportive employer helps her have the work-life balance needed. In addition, she is pursing her master’s degree in nursing executive leadership.
“I was so well supported the first time that I was here and coming back, I felt even more supported than I did the first time,” she said.