Besteder recognized for 40 years at Woodhaven
Forty years is a long time to do anything, much less one job. But, for Marzet Besteder, her time working at Woodhaven Manor Nursing Home has been more of a blessing than an occupation.
“To me it’s a gift from God,” Besteder said. “It’s something I always wanted to do. I wanted to work with elderly people.”
Besteder, who has served as a nurses’ assistant at Woodhaven for 40 years and celebrated her 60th birthday on March 11, was recently recognized by the administration, staff, and residents at Woodhaven for the milestone.
Besteder says she loves what she does at Woodhaven and enjoys the time she spends with the residents in her role as a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
“We spend a lot of one-on-one time with the residents. I’ve helped give baths, dressed them, if they need feeding we take care of that and a lot of other things to make them comfortable,” Besteder said.
The veteran worker noted that she tries to spends 35-40 minutes with each resident, but recognizes that some residents need more assistance than others, and that she normally deals with eight residents each day.
For those interested in a career in nursing, Besteder offers advice.
“I would tell anyone who wants to be a CNA — the first thing they have to have is compassion for the residents and the most important thing is that the residents always come first,” said Besteder.
Shortly before starting at Woodhaven, Besteder suffered a broken collarbone which gave her seizures. Seeing that she had residents that also suffered from similar symptoms, her heart was touched to be there to help others.
“It’s more than just a job, it’s a gift to me,” said Besteder. “Not only do I help them they help me. Sometimes you might feel down when you come in, but when you go in the residents’ room they talk to you and help lift us up also. We help each other.”
As technology has changed, it has made it easier to help the residents, but one thing technology can’t change is the emotional component of the job.
“You try not to get attached to the residents, but you can’t help it. I always say next time I won’t do that, but I always do,” said Besteder.
Outside of being there for the residents, Besteder is there for the patients’ loved ones as well. She always meets the families and prays with them as well for the strength of the elder family members.
Although she has 40 years at Woodhaven under her belt, Besteder has no plans to retire just yet.
“I said I was, but I talked to my Creator. He gave me more strength to continue so I’m not thinking about retiring right now,” Besteder said.
Other Woodhaven employees who were honored during a special recognition ceremony for their service were Jackie Williams, 25 years of service; Lula Keller, 25 years of service; Ella Kirk, 30 years of service; Juanita James, 15 years of service; Marzet Besteder, 40 years of service; James Charleston, 30 years of service; Tamaria Jones, 10 years of service; Vernita Johnson, 10 years of service; Mattie Braynt, 30 years of service; Lakeisha Burrell, 10 years of service; Samantha Brown, 10 years of service; Jeri Lynn Morgan, five years of service; Cynthia Jones, 10 years of service; and Brenda Cabil, 10 years of service.