by Vickie Jenkins
I had the pleasure of meeting with Patricia Navarro, Marketing Director of Emerald Square Assisted Living. Patricia has had plenty of experience in caring for others; she has been a nurse for 40 years. Her first job as a nurse was at Children’s Hospital. “That is when I discovered that taking care of people and helping them in any way that I could was my passion.”
Emerald Square offers a caring atmosphere, an active community and a comfortable and secure lifestyle for their residents. Each member of their community enjoys the opportunity to ‘live life their way.’ Valued residents enjoy assistance when required and freedom when desired. Residency includes a complete array of services and accommodations. “We love it here,” comments Patricia. “We try to make it comfortable and happy for the residents,” she said as she gave me a tour of the facility. “We always have some kind of entertainment for our residents,” she said as the live music played and the residents listened to the relaxing tunes. It is obvious that Emerald Square has a nice, comfortable inviting feeling, as though changing the word ‘facility’ into ‘home.’ This is a wonderful place to be,” Patricia adds.
“How did you become a nurse?” I ask Patricia. “When I was a little girl, I liked Superman. Who didn’t like him? He was the good guy, the hero. I also noticed that Superman wore a blue cape. For some reason, that blue cape really stood out to me. Back then, scrubs for nurses were unheard of. The nurses wore white dresses, white hose, white shoes, a white hat and a blue cape. I think in a way, I associated Superman’s blue cape and the nurse’s blue cape as a symbol of helping people,” she said with a laugh. “When I became a nurse in 1976, the blue capes were gone but I was determined to help others. One thing for sure though, I will always remember that blue cape.”
“Did anyone influence you to become a nurse?” I ask. “It was definitely my dad. Up until the age of 13, my family and I lived close to the border in Zapata, Texas. My dad was part of the horseback border patrol. He was a good worker and enjoyed his job. I saw how much he cared for others and whether he knew it or not, he was making an impact on my life, even at a young age. It made me realize that I wanted to make taking care of others my goal in life and making it my career. My dad influenced me then and through the years, he always encouraged me. I will always be thankful for that.”
Asking Patricia what her greatest blessing about being a nurse was, she replied, “My biggest blessing is the fact that being a nurse is rewarding. A nurse has to have a genuine care for others and facilitate their needs. A nurse gives of herself and that nurse is given back much more. Whether it is saving a life in the ER or through preventative medicine, its rewards are spiritual. Nursing feeds the soul.”
“What is your greatest asset?” I ask. “I think it’s communication. I feel like I am able to communicate with others, no matter what their social background is. I make people feel at ease, or so people tell me,” she says with a smile. “I don’t judge people and I accept them for the way they are,” Patricia comments.
I asked Patricia if she saw any challenges in the assisted living facility? “I do see a bit of a challenge when it comes to making sure potential residents come to the facility when they should. Some tend to want to wait, but then, it could be too late. It is important that we can tell others what a wonderful staff and wonderful residents we have here at Emerald Square, conveying the urgency of caring for their loved ones before it is too late.”
Patricia’s hobbies include gardening and spending time with her family. “My husband and I have a daughter, Racheal and a son, Tyler. They are both graduates of UCO. We also have a 3 year-old granddaughter, Amilee, which I love to spoil.”
Patricia’s words to live by are: “Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Treat others the way you would want your parents to be treated.”