Working and Living at Garden Spot Village

February 5, 2024

When Suzanne Butler moved to Garden Spot Village with her husband, John, in August 2020, she was still working full-time. A registered nurse, she was employed by Aetna Insurance to do hospital case reviews remotely. She retired in April 2021 and began to explore volunteer opportunities at Garden Spot Village.

Even with the new community and volunteering, Suzanne felt unsettled and restless. She was looking for something more. At about this time Garden Spot changed employment rules, enabling residents to work at the community. Suzanne was intrigued. Could she live and work at Garden Spot? She applied and was hired as a part-time registered nurse assessment coordinator (RNAC) in skilled nursing in November 2021.

“I need structure,” Suzanne says. “Working part-time gives me that.” Suzanne finds that structure working on Wednesdays and Fridays. She completes the majority of her work on a computer in her office. She is one of three RNACs whose job is to ensure

that all of the medical documentation is accurate for each resident in the skilled nursing households. She tracks the federally mandated quality measures and looks for red flags—places where the nursing staff can improve performance. She also does some assessments, determining residents’ ability to provide general self-care and other healthcare markers.

Suzanne has a wide breadth of work experience. After earning a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences from Widener University, her first job was at the University of Pennsylvania in the admissions department. She then served as financial assistant to the Dean of Pharmacy at Temple University. While working at Temple, she started nursing school.

In nursing Suzanne found a personal connection to people that was missing in her previous roles. She found purpose in making an impact in the daily lives of people as she provided nursing care. She worked as the Nursing Home Administrator at Linden Hall, a skilled nursing neighborhood at Friends Home in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Linden Hall was an early adopter of person-centered care in the early 2000s. Suzanne appreciated having the flexibility to spend extra time with the residents she was serving.

Suzanne appreciates the new community she has gained by working at Garden Spot. “The staff is all wonderful, accessible and friendly. I really enjoy the camaraderie with the other team members. They are more than coworkers—they are my friends too,” she says. She appreciates that she can bring her “whole self to work.” All of the skills and talents she brings are respected and welcomed.

The only challenge of living in the community where she works? She just needs to remind herself occasionally which hat she is wearing at any given moment—whether she’s interacting with people as a resident, a volunteer or a team member.

Experience community at work! Explore part-time healthcare jobs at Garden Spot Communities.

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