More Than Just A Job (Staff Stories)

Victoria

3 years of service

Victoria arrived at Friendsview as a George Fox student when she had nearly finished her CNA certification. This gave her just enough time to prove her worth on 2nd and 3rd floor before taking on a regular position in the health center. Seeing Victoria in action with Friendsview residents leaves no doubt she chose the right career path, putting together her interest in math and science with a love for people.

Victoria is grateful to Friendsview for offering her a flexible work schedule to fit with her classes and internships. She said, “I’m proud of my work at Friendsview and feel confident that my years of employment will serve me well as I apply for full-time jobs.”

Now Victoria has realized her goal of graduating from college with a bachelor of science in nursing, and becoming a registered nurse! She also is realizing her dream of working in her area of interest–trauma treatment, and has moved beyond Friendsview. We are grateful for the time she spent with us and the care she showed our residents. We wish her all the best in her nursing career!

 


Joeljoel

3+ years of service

Joel grew up in Newberg and went to George Fox University thinking he wanted a career in teaching music. After a year and a half he still loved music but didn’t feel teaching was for him. Job Corps helped him find a new career path in the medical field, sponsoring his education at Clapsop Community College in Astoria, Oregon.

While in high school, Joel worked in dining services, where he formed friendships with the residents—his favorite part of the job. Now fully prepared with an RN degree, Joel looked into career nursing at Friendsview. He was hired as a med aid, then moved up to clinic nurse, and after six months he was given responsibility as on-call charge nurse. Finally, after some time on the evening and night shifts, Joel moved to the preferred day shift. Unlike many of his nursing peers, who like the excitement of the hospital scene, Joel is drawn to the caring aspects of the Friendsview environment. “I like doing whatever is needed for the residents, interspersed with building relationships with them,” says Joel. And so he is right where he wants to be.

Yet there was something Joel wanted to do apart from work that required him to ask for 2.5 months off. He wanted to take a solo bike trip from the Canadian border to the Mexican border! So last summer he did just that, taking with him his 10-lb toy poodle, Roxie, who rode in a customized carrier on the back of Joel’s bike.

During his off hours, Joel likes to swim, read fantasy (mostly), play video games, bike (of course), and play the piano and guitar. He continues to enrich his life with music by singing in a choir based in Salem, Oregon, called Acapella Project. He and his girlfriend have dated for a year now, but you can ask him yourself about that.

 


John

6 years of service

Six years ago John and his wife, Deb, moved from Colorado to Oregon with her job and to live near their three children. Though John had a career unrelated to healthcare, he volunteered to do evening activities at Friendsview. It just so happened that WorkSource Oregon offered John classes to earn a certified nursing assistant (CNA) license enabling him to fill a full-time open position at Friendsview.

Now you know what led John to Friendsview. What keeps John at Friendsview is his love for the residents! He works exclusively in the Gardenview area with residents challenged by memory issues. He enjoys building a relationship with each one, getting to know them as individuals who have lived a full life. “Some residents have a playful sense of humor, and we like to tease each other.” John knows how lucky he is to also enjoy camaraderie with his coworkers. It makes working long days so much easier.

John would rather his work schedule lined up with Deb’s so they could spend weekends together. Still, they manage to find enough time to garden, hang out with the children, and play with the grandkids at their home in Newberg. John also likes to read and is happy football season has returned for a while. If the Steelers or the Seahawks or the Broncos are playing, you might not see him for a while.

 


Kerry

3 years of service

Kerry’s varied work background of farming, “cowboying,” and manufacturing-plant supervising took a sharp turn when he learned that his mother’s friend needed help—first with household tasks, then gradually taking care of her husband’s personal needs. Before long he and Kerry became friends. At about the same time, Kerry’s grandpa also needed help, and Kerry was glad to offer it. Out of this, he developed a sense of calling to care for older adults and decided to study at Chemeketa Community College to earn his license as a certified nursing assistant. He accomplished all of this while holding down a full-time job.

“I started looking for something else because I was tired of being the oldest one at work,” Kerry teases. Truthfully, though, he was ready to use his education and new-found love for helping the elderly. Since he started work at Friendsview, Kerry has become certified in three areas: acute care, care for those with dementia, and as a medication aid. He starts every day with the ultimate goal “to make a difference in somebody’s life.” He knows the importance of listening to people’s stories. He likes that he can be friends with the residents under his care.

Outside of work hours, Kerry spends about two hours a day with his parents, who also need his help. When time and weather permit, Kerry and his wife enjoy hiking, always taking their 185-pound St. Bernard, Gomer, along. In fact, Gomer goes just about everywhere with them. He likes to BBQ and take week-long camping vacations with his kids and grandkids.

 


 Vonda

12 years of service

Vonda worked first in housekeeping when she joined the Friendsview staff in 2004. After a year and a half she took a position as caregiver in memory care, taking some evening shifts but more often the “noc” shift. She loved her years in that area: “The residents weren’t just people; they became like family to me.” She felt committed to serve them to the end of their days.

After nine years in memory care, Vonda felt ready for a change and asked to move to 2nd floor assisted living. Before long a position opened and she signed on for the noc shift, which starts at 10:15 p.m. Her three grown children—Kevin, Robert, and Jennifer—know they can call her between 3 and 10 p.m., and her three cats—Elmo, Baby, and Ozzy—have adjusted to her unconventional schedule.

Vonda appreciates working in Friendsview’s homey atmosphere. The floor is mostly quiet during her shift, yet she adds her constant calming influence as she interacts with the residents, getting to know them as individuals, hearing their stories.

During her off hours, Vonda likes to play with her cats, crochet, garden, read a good book at the park—and more recently has added adult coloring books to her ways to relax.

 


Buster

4 years of service

Buster brought a wealth of experience when he started his work at Friendsview in November of 2012 as building services technician, specializing in electrical work. In the United States Air Force, he had worked as a construction and remodel carpenter, then worked nearly 30 years as maintenance and special production foreman at a concrete precast company in Wilsonville. At Friendsview Buster shares his skill and passion for troubleshooting and his knack for finding the answer to stubborn problems. He likes to take on new projects, his most recent setting up the new nurse-call system on the healthcare level.

“I really enjoy working here,” says Buster, who found previous work environments hostile. At Friendsview everyone is friendly and helpful; the atmosphere is positive. Many residents have served the Lord their whole lives, and this job gives me an opportunity to serve them.”

When not at work, Buster enjoys time with his family, travel, fishing, golf, and gardening.

 


Marina

18 years of service

Marina came to work at Friendsview 18 years ago, in 1998, when it was only one main building with five floors. She worked in housekeeping. She still works in housekeeping, but only one day a week. All other work days you’ll find her in the laundry. She takes pride in her work and enjoys every part of her job. “Friendsview is a very good place to work,” says Marina. She is strong and kind and has a positive influence on the rest of her team. She works hard and leads by example.

At home, Marina enjoys cooking for her husband and sometimes for their grown children and their families. She usually makes recipes from her Mexican heritage but also serves American food. She and her husband, Francisco, have lived in Newberg for 26 years, and they miss the part of their extended family who still live in Mexico. So they visit every two years.

Besides cooking, Marina enjoys spending time with her family, who all live in the Newberg/Dundee area. She spends as much time as she can with her two grandchildren but also enjoys dancing and visiting with friends late into the night.

Friendsview is blessed to have Marina on their employment team and appreciate her commitment to work and serving the community.

 


Alice

Alice

25 years of service

When Alice walked into Friendsview in 1990 looking for a job, she immediately knew she wanted to work here. Thankfully, she was invited to interview for an open position in dining services, and they hired her as a cleaning person (ovens, hood fans, and other equipment). In those days there were no job descriptions or background checks. When others called in sick, Alice was asked to do their job. She washed dishes, cooked, baked, prepared salads, served—whatever was needed.

Eight years later Alice was hired to serve in medical records, and throughout her 17 years in that position, she’s worked with five directors.

Alice has seen a lot during her years at Friendsview. In 1994 when the Spring Break Quake shook the power loose in the Manor, she and other employees carried food upstairs because the elevator didn’t work. She also remembers the flood of 1996 when the bridge in the canyon almost washed away. Facility services had to go tie it off so it wouldn’t get sucked into the culvert. In 2004, Alice and her coworkers were moved to a portable trailer in the parking lot while the health center was demolished and rebuilt.

Throughout her 25 years at Friendsview, Alice has believed she is where she belongs. Friendsview is her calling and her community. “My service is valued and appreciated,” she says. “I’ll always be grateful that God led me to walk into Friendsview and ask for a job.”