Nominated by two clients’ families and the owner of the Carlsbad BrightStar Care® location, Tina Seever, RN/DPCS, is the epitome of a nurse extraordinaire! Whether she’s passionately advocating for clients, leading the initiative for Joint Commission accreditation, or providing hands-on care, Tina compassionately delivers excellence. One client says she’s their “phone a friend,” go-to person and confidant. And she does this all while having her own family to care for.
Written by Dan Sweiger, Franchise Owner (including excerpts from additional nominations from Denise T., Judy B’s daughter and Amy A., Gary and Judy K.'s daughter)
Tina Seever, RN/DPCS, is the heart and soul of our operation. She was our first Director of Nursing (DON). She built our clinical services function, led the initiative to earn our first Joint Commission accreditation with ZERO deficiencies, and has become our most trusted advisor for all things clinical, ethical and regulatory. She coordinates with other care partners, and advocates passionately on behalf of our clients.
That alone is pretty great, but she’s so overwhelmingly deserving of this honor because I’ve never seen someone give so much of herself, sacrifice so much, and connect so deeply to help others. To Tina, improving the lives of our clients and families is not just a job – it’s a calling. With endless care and compassion, Tina’s sense of purpose drives her to frequently go way above and beyond, and to make deep, personal impacts on the lives of so many. She is an amazing nurse, and even more amazing human being!
Here are a few examples that demonstrate her incredible dedication, how she passionately lives our core values, and the immeasurable impact she’s had on so many:
Client Judy B: A Christmas miracle!
On Dec 23, we received a private pay infusion inquiry that needed daily RN visits at 7am and 7pm for 6 weeks. The family had never had home health before, but the alternative was Judy spending Christmas in a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). Judy is a very private person, so it was a big decision. With just one day’s notice, could they trust someone to come into their home for something so important?
Tina completed the assessment on Christmas Eve day and forged an immediate connection with the whole family. Their daughter said “From the moment she walked in, it was like I’d known her forever. She made a point to get to know the whole family, so warm, so nurturing.” Tina started the case herself that night: “On Christmas day, my mom realized the magnitude of what she was up against, and the blessings of Tina. We couldn’t believe this woman was here taking care of us on Christmas morning and not with her own family.“
They said, “She didn’t even know us, but she devoted the next six weeks to saving my mom’s life… who does that!?” So, in addition to her full time DPCS responsibilities, Tina insisted on doing ALL of their infusions personally. And, yes, that means she worked 7 days/week, mornings through evenings, for over a month straight – including both Christmas and New Year's holidays. The IV pump was complicated and finicky, and malfunctioned more than once. Each time it malfunctioned – day or night – Tina ran right over there to resolve the issue. Eventually, she worked with the supplier to get a replacement, and devised an interim plan to keep the infusions on track until it arrived.
The family credits Tina’s devotion to their relationship with changing the path of each of their lives. She saved Judy’s life, and they cite their relationship with Tina as an important part of her healing. She helped bring two sisters closer together, maybe even saved Judy’s marriage, and even made Judy’s husband with dementia feel important and needed throughout.
Judy’s daughter wrote this glowing 5-star review:
"To say that finding Tina of BrightStar Care was nothing short of a miracle on Dec. 23, 2021, would be an understatement. My mother was diagnosed with a heart infection and Scripps told our family that she would need to go to a nursing home or that we as a family could be trained to care for her at home during her 24 hour/6 week antibiotic treatment. The level of care and medical attention she required was way beyond what our family was capable of delivering. Tina agreed to care for my mother during her entire treatment and quickly became a member of our family. The level of Medical Care and kindness she gave to my mother and our entire family during her treatment will never be forgotten. She is one of the most giving people I have ever met and will always be grateful for the sacrifice she made in her own life to help our family. Thank you Tina for going above and beyond what I could have ever believed possible from a Home Health Care Company. Our family will be forever appreciative for your kindness and care of our Mother who is now doing amazing!”
By the way, Tina’s devotion didn’t stop when services ended. She still visits them regularly to this day. And, because of Tina's amazing effort and compassion, they have since referred two other family members to us for non-medical home care.
Clients Gary & Judy K: A lifelong guardian angel!
Gary has diabetes, coronary artery disease and stage 2 Parkinson’s. He and Judy moved to San Diego to help care for their daughter’s children, so she could earn a living in the wake of a divorce. The plan was that Judy would take care of Gary, but then she started having dementia symptoms and lost her mobility due to a fall and knee replacement. Gary was now thrust into caring for Judy, but it was too difficult given his challenges, and the stress on the whole family was tremendous. Gary was participating in a medical integration program with exercise classes specifically for people with Parkinson’s, and he felt it was making a big difference. However, he had stopped going because he didn’t feel it was safe anymore to leave Judy home alone. Judy had always been a strong, independent woman, so having to admit that she could no longer walk, cook, or otherwise care for Gary, really hurt. Having to ask for this kind of help made her feel humbled and vulnerable. I remember Judy coming to tears during our assessment, how tenderly Tina comforted her, and how she protected Judy’s sense of dignity. Amy described the situation as full of heartbreak and worry, “This is my mom. We’re not choosing a paint color here. It doesn’t get any more personal than this.” Tina put them at ease during the assessment, and we provided personal care for both of them for months.
But, in this story, the end is just the beginning. You see, Judy and Gary’s life went through several critical changes, many after our case had closed. Each time, they turned to Tina as their most trusted confidant and resource.
When they began to realize independent living was becoming infeasible, they couldn’t bring themselves to consider an Assisted Living Facility (ALF). Tina helped them come to peace that this would be the right move at the right time, and she even helped them find an ALF suited to their unique dual needs. When they moved, Tina said “You’re not through with me yet. You might not be a client anymore, but you’re still a friend.”
Judy and Gary’s daughter wrote this beautiful tribute:
Her loyalty and commitment, knowledge of medical issues, network of support and relationships with local facilities surpasses anything that I've encountered. Tina isn't just a nurse, she's a guardian angel. From the moment we met her, she was warm and disarming, and reassuring. Not only is she incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable, but her warm and most sincere personality instantly bonds you. She helped to care for my folks when we first moved into the home care phase, and even a year after our service ended because my folks moved into a care facility, she STILL comes to see them weekly, provides therapy, emotional support and brings their favorite treats. Her dedication to her career far surpasses anything I've ever seen. She lives her life to serve others and illustrates this daily, beyond the already amazing measure of a nurse. She's redefined what it truly means.
She continued to check-in on them regularly, all on her personal time. Due to strict COVID restrictions, Amy was not allowed to visit her parents for over 5 months. But, as a medical professional, the community would let Tina in to see them. For Amy, Tina was her only source of “inside” information, and she felt like Tina popping-in to check on them gave her added peace of mind.
Judy had a series of falls in the ALF. Each time, the facility staff struggled to help her up and would call 911 for a lift assist. Tina saw this and took it upon herself to devise a plan and train the facility staff, so they could stop calling 911 and lift her themselves – faster, safer, and without the embarrassment of the EMT intervention for all neighbors to see. Additionally, Gary estimates Tina came to see them 40 times over the next three months. She would bring them their favorite breakfast (paid out of her own pocket), walk with Judy to strengthen her legs, and then go to work. It’s been over a year since the move, and Tina continues to see them for breakfast and monitor Judy's progress to this day. Gary says “So many others promise everything and deliver nothing, but Tina is why we are here today.” They say integrity is what you do when no one is looking. Well, we had no idea she was doing all this until I interviewed the family for this nomination!
Amy says throughout this whole time, Tina is the only person who has come into her parents’ lives that is still around. She says Tina has been their consistent, stable guardian angel. What she’s done for them goes way beyond the “job,” and she is amazed with how Tina is always thinking about them, always helping them, and all at the expense of her own personal time. She says Tina is Mother Teresa + Florence Nightingale, stating “How can one human be this full of love? The grit and compassion to pour yourself into a family for more than a year after services… the world needs more people like that.” I couldn’t agree more!
This is how Tina lives her life every day!
Each of these stories alone would make Tina a strong candidate for Nurse of the Year. But, even more mind boggling, is that these are not isolated incidents. Since the day Tina came into our life, she has consistently given so much of herself, over and over again, with the true devotion that only comes from someone driven by a higher purpose. There could be no finer choice for Nurse of The Year than Tina Seever.