Inside Athena: Newtown Rehab’s Lynn Steller, 50 Years of Nursing
NEWTOWN, C.T. — Lynn Steller said she is celebrating 50 years of being a nurse this year. She chuckled as she said this, then said, “Gosh, has it been that long?” It has. She has worked in various locations in healthcare, like hospitals and doctor’s offices, but began working for a staffing agency in 2001 when she landed at Newtown Rehabilitation & Health Care Center. A few years later in September 2004, she became a full-time nurse employee at the Newtown center.
“I liked it here and I wanted to help people,” Steller said. “I’ve always enjoyed taking care of people and I gravitate towards taking care of our elderly.”
Steller still recalls a memory from being in kindergarten and there were nurse kits in the classrooms. She said she always gravitated towards those kits and always wanted to have them by her side.
“I just wanted to have it next to me,” she said.
Over the years, Steller has developed lifelong relationships with her residents, their families, and staff members at the Fairfield County, Connecticut center. She said she would always work to create a “homelike atmosphere” on the units to make the residents, their families, and staff as comfortable as possible.
“You take something away from each one of the residents,” Steller said. “When you get them to smile and enjoy something it just feels so good. I love my residents and their families. I tried to make it as a house.”
She has made many relationships over the years with families of residents who have since passed away that she remains in touch with today. She said family connections are vital as the staff become an extension of the family.
Steller offers a piece of advice for those thinking of pursuing a career in healthcare.
“I think you have to do it for the right reasons. You have to care about the people, have patience and think of the residents as your own family and treat others with respect,” she said.
Due to an injury, Steller has now been working primarily in the MDS office at Newtown Rehab.