25000 Country Club Blvd. Suite 255, North Olmsted, OH 44070
440.793.0200

Grab a Broom



Left to Right: Michael Thomas, Charlotte “Pat” Fry, Shequita Walker, Bob Speelman

September 17, 2019

I spent the day at Heritage of Hudson, our 80-bed facility in Hudson, Ohio where Michael Thomas is the administrator. I had the opportunity to work alongside Charlotte "Pat" Fry, who is 62 and has been an STNA for over 30 years. Pat is one of the most loving and caring people you will ever have the honor of meeting. Her residents adore her because they know how much she loves and cares for them.


As we were working together throughout the day Pat, Tiffany Burkehouse (another STNA who I worked with last time and adore), and Shequita Walker, the nurse for that unit, all worked together to provide the best care possible for their residents. The three of them were a unit and communicated beautifully.  


At lunchtime, Michael was out in the dining room, passing trays, and helping assist his team. Pat, Tiffany, and Shequita appreciated it so much - and you could tell the residents enjoyed it as well. It reminded me about what we do every day at each of our facilities. Not everyone is an STNA or a nurse, but we all should be caregivers.


Something happens when you flatten out an organization and everyone knows their role is just as important as anyone else's. Whether you're giving direct care, doing laundry, cleaning a room, cooking a meal, running a department, or doing payroll, we are all there for the residents. We all can do something to help the team and our residents.


I'm sure there were a million other things Michael could be doing at lunch besides assisting in the dining room, but he took the time to help Pat, Tiffany, and, Shequita. They truly appreciated it. I talk a lot about how my joy for long-term care came back to me once I became an STNA and began working side by side with our amazing caregivers. I would encourage anyone in management that is reading this to do the same. You don't have to become an STNA. Just make it a point each day to get out of your office, answer a call light, take a full linen barrel down to laundry to help your team out, pass trays at breakfast, lunch or dinner. 


I promise you if you start doing that every day, in a few weeks you would be amazed at how these seemingly small things amount to a huge boost in morale for the team and a personal sense of joy in your own life.


I love reading about John Wooden, the famous UCLA basketball coach. His lessons on leadership are some of the most powerful that I have ever read. One thing that Coach Wooden always did before and after every practice was to sweep the gym floor. This wasn't a task that was left to the janitors. They were a team, and everyone did their part, including the coach.


John Wooden coached basketball at UCLA for a living, but his calling was to impact people, and with all those National Championships, guess what he was found doing in the middle of the week? Going into the cupboard, grabbing a broom, and sweeping his own gym floor. You want to make an impact? Find your broom. Every day of your life, you find your broom. You grow your influence that way. That way, you're attracting people so that you can impact them.
- Rick Rigsby


Bob Speelman, STNA

Heritage of Hudson

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