Sheryl Walters (left) is proud that all three of her daughters, including Dezarae Walters, Sarina Fuller and Chantelle Walters have joined her as care aides at Mill Site Lodge and Fischer Place. (Photo submitted)

Sheryl Walters (left) is proud that all three of her daughters, including Dezarae Walters, Sarina Fuller and Chantelle Walters have joined her as care aides at Mill Site Lodge and Fischer Place. (Photo submitted)

Nursing a family affair in 100 Mile

Sheryl Walters works alongside all three of her daughters at Fischer Place and Mill Site Lodge

Taking care of people is a family trait in the Walters family.

Sheryl Walters and her three daughters all work at Mill Site Lodge and Fischer Place long-term care facility at 100 Mile District General Hospital.

Walters started there first, as a care aide in 2002, and the girls followed over the years. She said it was a natural transition to give back to the 100 Mile House community, where all of them were born and raised.

“Their whole lives they have been raised in this environment so it just seemed it was the way it was meant to be that they’d go to school and come work here as well,” Walters, 50, said.

Walters decided to become a care aide after she gave birth to her third daughter – Chantelle Walters – and received excellent care from the nurses at 100 Mile District General Hospital. When Chantelle was two, Walters joined the Health Care Assistant Program, run through Thompson Rivers University.

She started at the hospital and has since worked in every department. She found her passion, though, working with the residents of Mill Site Lodge and Fischer Place.

“Even when I was taking my course, I knew then this is where I was meant to be,” Walters said. “I love working with the elderly. I enjoy the continuity of coming to work every day and seeing familiar faces. They may not always remember my name but they recognize my face and they’re happy to see me.”

In 2014, her eldest daughter Dezarae Walters, 29, also took a care aide course, offered through Sprott Shaw College. By chance, her mom was taking a break from the hospital due to a workplace injury, and she was put in charge of teaching the program that year.

“With my children, I have greater expectations for them than I would anybody else,” Walters said. “Dezarae, she excelled in the program. She’s a natural caregiver so it just seemed exactly the right fit for her too.”

Dezarae said she always wanted to go into the medical field thanks to the example set by her mother. Getting the chance to train under her was special, and both of them remained professional to avoid a conflict of interest.

“The way the program was set up it was a lot of student marking, but I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher or mentor because she’s an incredible nurse herself,” Dezarae said. “She led a really good class and paved the way for future classes as far as instructing goes.”

A year later, Dezarae joined her mother at Fischer Place as a health care assistant. Her sister, Sarina Fuller, 27, studied to be a medical lab assistant but changed her mind to follow her mom and big sister. She returned to school and became a licensed practical nurse in 2020.

Chantelle, 22, was not about to be left out. She hadn’t even graduated when she took the Healthcare Assistant Program – a high school version of the same one her mother took all those years ago – in 2017. After working as a care aide she went to nursing school and is set to become a licensed practical nurse this June after she writes her final exam.

“I came back to Fischer Place to start my career as a licensed practical nurse,” Chantelle said. “I’m excited to be working alongside my mom and my sisters again in our facility. We’re all there as a team at work and at home, so I think working alongside each other gives us a stronger family bond.”

Walters is “incredibly” proud to be working with her daughters and believes the patients and residents of Fischer and Mill Site are lucky to have her girls.

There will be a brief break in the link this month when Dezarae and Sarina go off on maternity leave. She said this will be nice for Chantelle as she won’t have “all of us mother hens nattering at her.”

Walters doesn’t know if the nursing tradition will continue with her grandchildren but hopes so. In the meantime, the four will carry on serving the community.

“I think we’re all really strong women, so that’s a bonus. Having our mom pave the way for us has given us the confidence to be good at our jobs, fight the good fight and be advocates for our patients,” Dezarae said. “We’re looking after people that have watched us grow up so it’s kind of fun for the residents to see us. We bring the work-family to a whole new level.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile House

 

The Walters family including Sarina Fueller (left) Chantelle, Sheryl and Dezarae are all proud to be a daughter/mother team while working at Mill Site Lodge and Fischer Place. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 MIle Free Press)

The Walters family including Sarina Fueller (left) Chantelle, Sheryl and Dezarae are all proud to be a daughter/mother team while working at Mill Site Lodge and Fischer Place. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 MIle Free Press)

Dezarae Walters (left), Chantelle Walters, Sheryl Walters and Sarina Fueller have made long term care at Mill Site Lodge and Fischer Place a family affair. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 MIle Free Press)

Dezarae Walters (left), Chantelle Walters, Sheryl Walters and Sarina Fueller have made long term care at Mill Site Lodge and Fischer Place a family affair. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 MIle Free Press)