Health Services Director Jessica Donelson fondly recalls a coworker she had while working in Jefferson City.
"While it was only for a short time that we had worked together, Rita Elliott had made quite an impression on me. Rita was the staffing coordinator, so her organization skills were very immaculate, and her willingness to help new staff was just great," said Jessica. "There were times when Rita was asked to go above and beyond her duties, and as we all know as nurses, those duties can be very demanding of our time, but she always seemed to be the one to step up and complete tasks that were not truly hers to complete."
When it came time for Jessica to hire someone as assisted living supervisor, she immediately thought of Rita.
"In just the short time that she and I worked together, she impressed me with her organization skills, her ability to embrace change, her willingness to help others, but most importantly she impressed me with her ability to lead and promote teamwork. So, to sum it up … those are all the reasons I chose to hire her for her role as AL supervisor," said Jessica.
And it's important to note that Jessica actually reached out to her and asked her to come work with her again.
"Our previous time together was simply too short!" said Jessica. "Also, we are both from Ohio, we both love Ballriech’s potato chips, and those are only made and sold in Ohio!"
But it was more than a shared love of fried sliced potatoes that brought Rita to work at Fulton Presbyterian Manor.
"I have worked at Fulton Presbyterian Manor since December 2017—long enough to know I like it here and love my residents in assisted living! My favorite part of the job is the interaction I have with my residents. I like listening to their stories and hearing about their families. In the hospital setting I did not take care of my patients more than a few days, so I did not get to build relationships," said Rita.
Then again, Rita always knew she'd make it back to long term care.
"I have been an RN since 2006. I worked my first eight years in the hospital setting on cardiac stepdown/progressive care units. Before going to nursing school, I was a CNA for many, many years, back to the days before certification requirements. I loved long term care then and knew that I would eventually come back to long term care after I had some intense training as a nurse. I earned my AND [associate’s degree in nursing] at Columbia College in Columbia, Mo. I also have an Associates Degree in American Sign Language, but I am pretty rusty now," said Rita.
When Rita is not at work, she stays busy enjoying her family, including her husband of 39 years, their six children and 13 grandchildren. And when possible, she enjoys knitting and crocheting.