Victoria Burdine is in her niche caring for residents at Tuscany Village Nursing Center.

Victoria Burdine was not raised with her grandparents. They were deceased, she said, regarding her childhood in Louisiana. Burdine always was the family member who cleaned house and cared for elderly people in her neighborhood in a little town named Rayne.
“I enjoyed it,” said Burdine, LPN, ADON and wound care nurse at Tuscany Nursing Center in Oklahoma City.
Burdine has been a nurse since 2009 and has always served in long-term care. She was a proud CNA for 15 years. Becoming a CNA was a smooth adjustment for Burdine after cleaning neighbors’ homes and running errands at the store for them.
“That’s my passion. A grandmother I could talk to and a grandmother — I didn’t have that,” she said. “So I take these residents here as my grandparents.”
She began working at Tuscany Nursing Center on the day it opened. There was one resident and Burdine was working the night shift, she said. Burdine was the LPN on the floor, and four months later she was asked to become the wound nurse. In early July she added the credential of certified wound nurse to her resume. Certification required rigorous study and taking a test.
“I started at 7 p.m. Sunday night and finished at 3 a.m. in the morning,” Burdine said. “So I am a board certified wound nurse.”
There were a lot of things she was already doing as a wound nurse, but she also learned a lot, she said. The extra education was valuable for her and also added job security to her career, she said.
Burdine said she admires that the nursing staff works well together as a team. At 3 p.m. everyday a few of the residents join her in her office for coffee and cookies. She loves it and said there is something about them that reflects her passion for the elderly.
Residents are of all ages. Some of them are in their 30s and 40s and she loves them, too. Some have been in accidents.
“You never know. It’s sad. I have a few that’s younger than me,” she said. “It is true that back in the day our grandparents would be in a nursing home, but these days it’s really young people, too.”
Burdine said it’s important to let the residents have choices. If they don’t feel like taking a bath at a certain time they can choose a later time.
“If there are certain things they want to eat – let them do it,” she said. “Just give them that freedom of choice. That plays an important role.”
Every once in a while Burdine will work in the skilled nursing unit when needed. Skilled nurses need to pay attention to detail and understand their role as a nurse, she said.
“There’s some hard work back there,” she said.
For long-term care a nurse needs to be compassionate, Burdinecontinued. Nurses without compassion and a love for their job will burnout and not make it in the industry.
“I love my job and I’m very compassionate,” Burdine said. “There’s things I do for a couple of people out of my pocket. Ladies like wigs. They like makeup. Some of them do have family and their family does not come. So I take out of my money and I buy them what they want.”
“If you’re here for the money it’s the wrong place to be.”
One of the residents has a 90-year-old mom that called Burdine from Las Vegas. She wanted to say how appreciative she is of Burdine for taking the time for her daughter to pay attention to small things.
“That means a lot,” Burdine said. “In my mind, the one thing I keep saying is, ‘This may be me one day.’ You know I wish somebody would take the time out if that happens to be me.”
“I want that same person like I am today to be caring. Take a little minute and just listen.”
Burdine tells the CNAs that the residents could be their kids. Across the U.S. nurses and CNAs need to stop what they’re caught up in life and pay more attention to detail, she said.
“Just listen because really that’s all they want you to do,” Burdine said. “So I always say this could be me.”
Currently Burdine is also caring for her mother who came to Oklahoma from Louisiana. She visits Burdine in the summertime.
When returning to Tuscany Village her residents are glad to see her. One of the residents called her at home and Burdine was happy to bring her a hamburger.