Standing up for seniors
Meet Doris Wagner, a proud and passionate advocate for Via Christi Village residents
Doris Wagner has a passion for learning and sharing that knowledge with others. As a registered nurse for more than 20 years, she’s made it her lifelong work.
“I became a nurse because I wanted to help people,” says Doris. As a case manager for Via Christi Villages, she does that by traveling and advocating for residents at eight different Via Christi senior care locations.
“My work involves getting to know the residents and their individual care needs,” says Doris. “I also work closely with staff, residents and their families to ensure those needs are met and help them complete their paperwork according to Medicare requirements.
“It’s a great feeling when you go to a location and a resident or one of their family members remembers you and the help you gave them and gives you a smile or a hug.”
For Doris — who with her husband, Kirk, has raised two children and is now a proud grandmother — nursing has allowed her to strike a balance between work and home while continuing to pursue her own learning.
She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wichita State University in 1992 while working as a certified nurse aide. She went on to work in Oncology for 10 years and earned certification as an oncology nurse before going into senior care.
Doris was about to enter a Master of Nursing program in 2009, but had to put her plans on hold when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“At the time, I needed to focus on my health,” she says. “Now, as a three-year survivor, I plan to go back and get my MSN degree because my goal is to become an advanced
registered nurse practitioner.”
Q&A with Doris
I go the extra mile for my patients by…advocating for residents and helping them understand the transition into assisted living.
Not many people know…I like to read suspense and mystery novels.
One thing that makes for a great work day is…when I can help make a resident’s transition into assisted living a little easier.
My advice for people entering a health care/nursing career is…be open to learning something new every day — it’s worth all the effort.
I know I make a difference in the lives of patients and families when…— even though I travel a lot — a resident or their family recognize me and give me a smile or a hug.
The most important thing my patients have taught me is…try not to take anything for granted. Quality of life is measured by the person experiencing that life.
If I couldn’t be a nurse, I would be a…landscaper. I would like to do yard makeovers.
I am inspired by…people who excel in their chosen professions — like the Olympic athletes.
One word that describes me is…discerning.
I am most proud of…earning my degree while raising a family and working.
My most recent accomplishment is…surviving breast cancer.