The time is theirs: Broomall’s Jada McKenzie puts residents first

March 23, 2017

Broomall staffing coordinator Jada McKenzie wears many different hats, all for the purpose of helping residents to the best of her abilities.

As the snow beat down on the greater Philadelphia area in early March, many people were off from their jobs or worked from home for the day as the conditions made travel treacherous.

But when you’re a nurse, you aren’t afforded the luxury of unscheduled off days because of weather or working from home. People rely on you and need you close by to help them. It comes with the territory.

Now imagine being the scheduler for those nurses and having to make sure there’s a full staff ready to be cooped in and work until the winter weather subsides.

Such is the position Jada McKenzie, the staffing coordinator at Broomall, found herself in recently.

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.

“It was very difficult,” Jada said. “People who work here also have families. But I can say that my staff was tremendous with the circumstances. On a usual daily basis, I have 40 to 48 people scheduled. With the snow, I only had two CNA call-outs in the morning and two CNA (certified nursing assistant) call-outs for the 3 p.m. -11 a.m. shift. And one nurse called out.

“Everyone rallied together. We stayed overnight. I came in Monday at midnight. Our nurses, our CNAs, our administrator, our supervisors – we all rallied together and we stayed to make sure that everyone was going to be OK.

“That’s the kind of teamwork that’s here every day, not just on a snow day.”

Jada came to Presby a little over two years ago. But she did not come in as a rookie to the senior living industry as she spent almost two decades working at another community.

A friend who was an RNA (restorative nursing assistant) at Broomall told Jada that Broomall was seeking a scheduling coordinator. A little over two years later, Jada still recalls her interview and first experiences at Broomall fondly.

“When I came in to interview here, the atmosphere was so pleasant,” Jada said. “Everyone was nice, they were friendly and I could feel that it was very family-oriented. So that’s what really made me make the decision to come here.”

As staffing coordinator, Jada steadily surveys the number of residents at Broomall and in its units to ensure the proper number of nurses is in place to help take care of the residents. So she is responsible for crafting a monthly schedule of full and part-time nurses that fits the needs of all involved.

But that’s not the only hat Jada wears at Broomall.

She assists the HR team at Broomall whenever needed. In addition, Jada is a certified nurse’s assistant and has been for 28 years, so she is willing to jump into action whenever needed.

“I’ve been on the units and I know how to take care of the residents,” Jada explained. “Earlier, there was a resident who wouldn’t let any of the nurses help her put her clothes on. For whatever reason, she saw me and said ‘Hey, Jada! How are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m fine, but can I help you get dressed?’ and she said, ‘sure.’

“I helped her get dressed and it was so nice to be able to give that little hand to help both the nurses and the residents.”

While Jada is proud of her versatile skillset, she admits it can get a little overwhelming sometimes playing so many different roles.

But that’s not a complaint at all.

“It’s stressful at times because I’m the type of person that I want to give it my all and more than 100 percent all the time,” Jada said. “Sometimes I do medical supplies to make sure we have all the equipment the CNAs and nurses need to take care of our residents. Sometimes I’m at the receptionist desk because she needs a break or has to go get lunch.

“But I don’t mind. I love taking care of people. … I want the residents to feel like we are their family and we’re here to help them.”


*Jada’s service and dedication to Presby’s Inspired Life was honored recently as she was Broomall’s nominee for the 2017 Distinguished Staff Member of the Year Award.