ANYTHING TO HELP: BROOMALL’S KIM WINTON GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND FOR RESIDENTS
The professional life of a social worker can be challenging, but Broomall’s Kim Winton gives her all for Broomall’s residents.
Like many recent college graduates, Kim Winton still wasn’t convinced with the exact path she wanted to take in her professional career.
She had just graduated from Chestnut Hill College with her human services degree and was spending her time interning in different capacities at a senior living community in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia. But while interning there, she found she thoroughly enjoyed the social work role.
“I’ve always liked this type of setting,” Kim explained. “Growing up, my grandparents lived in a CCRC (continuing care retirement community or Life Plan Community) and we would always visit them throughout their different levels of care. I always knew I wanted to be in this setting and with this type of population, I just wasn’t quite sure where.
“But it was that internship that really got me thinking that this is really what I want to do and be a voice for the residents.”
So Kim decided to go to grad school and earned her Master’s in social work at Kutztown University before finding the professional home she’d been looking for at Presby Inspired Life’s Broomall community.
Kim is the short-term care social services worker at Broomall. Set on five lush acres in suburban Philadelphia, Broomall is a full-service nursing and rehabilitation center that offers an ideal setting for rest and renewal.
“I remember looking at Presby’s website and thinking this looks like a really nice place,” said Kim, who has worked at Broomall for the last two years. “I was nervous and a little hesitant because I had never worked in a skilled nursing setting. But I took the job and I’m so glad I did!”
Kim takes care of all the social work needs for the residents in Broomall’s short-term wing and then helps with their discharge planning, among other things. Kim admitted a lot of different things can come up every day and that she can be swamped with paperwork at times. Such is the life of a social worker. But she enjoys the process of getting to know the residents on a personal basis.
“The short-term unit is a lot faster of a pace with the families and residents coming and going pretty quickly,” Kim said. “But the longer-term residents, I’ve really gotten the chance to know them and their families well. I see both sides with the discharge planning, but I’ve gotten to really know well the residents that live here.
“I get to basically come into the residents’ home here every day. I come in here every morning and I walk down the hallway toward my office and I see all these faces. Just being able to get to know them over the last two years has been so rewarding. They greet me when I come in and they yell at me when I stay too late!”
Kim is beloved by the residents she helps on a daily basis. Even if it means long hours at the office, they know she will work with them, no matter how touchy the situation may be, to find the proper resolution.
That dedication and work ethic is inspiring to her fellow team members at Broomall.
“Kim often deals with very delicate situations that need her time and her trust. She does this with passion and a huge helping of compassion,” said Tricia Katz, Broomall’s recreation and activities director. “Kim will drop what she’s doing to assist anyone in need.
“I was told by a resident here at Broomall that Kim stayed until 8 p.m. on a Friday night to assist her with packing up for a room change due to the ongoing construction project here. The resident was so anxious and worried about her personal belongings that Kim did not have the heart to leave her and go home in the resident’s moment of need.”
It’s that type of interaction that Kim cherishes.
Things can be unpredictable at times for a social worker, but Kim wouldn’t have it any other way because helping people in any way she can is what she finds so rewarding about her job.
“We get a lot of things thrown at us, so it’s hard to say exactly what we do!” Kim said. “We’re the ones who get to talk with the families and talk with the residents and get the trust from them.
“Every day is different and there’s always something new and interesting coming up!”
*Kim’s service and dedication to Presby’s Inspired Life was honored recently as she was Broomall’s nominee for the 2017 Distinguished Service Caregiver of the Year (Non-Nursing) Award.