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Employees Are “Compassionate Presence”

 Sister Frances Pytlik, ASC

By Sr. Frances Pytlik, ASC

On January 12, after having received Jeff’s e-mail requesting articles for the upcoming edition of Compassionate Presence, I witnessed that presence in action. That day was the second day of the second winter storm that hit Nebraska.  The first 11 inches of snow was now being hammered down by strong winds, below zero temperatures, wind chills in the -30s, and another nine inches of snow.

As I walked around St. Joseph’s Villa and the Court here in Nebraska, I was moved by the many examples of “Compassionate Presence” shown by the employees.

• Empty rooms had homemade signs telling others that the room was now in use by nurses, CNAs, and dietary employees, who planned ahead for the storm, bringing clothing for four, five, or six days, knowing that the residents had to be cared for no matter what the weather was doing outside.

• Rob, coming in with icicles hanging from his face as he tried to keep the main entrances and sidewalks clear in case of emergency. He was going out to do this every two hours as everything kept blowing shut. 

• People in town had husbands help dig out their cars/trucks and drive them to work.

• Some braved the sub-zero temperatures and walked to work.

• Everyone helping out in any way they could across departments.

My effort in passing trays and carrying on activities seemed very small compared to these dedicated employees. They were and are compassionate presence.

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