Nurse’s care, dedication to snowed-in client recognized

“Is it really as good as they say?”

Years removed from a nursing role at a clinic, Taelor Wimmer walked into Good Samaritan Society – Home Care in Indianola, Iowa, and asked the question.

“Never did home health until I got here,” says Taelor, who was getting back into nursing after raising her twin girls to school age.

Taelor says she quickly “figured out this is where I belong.”

“Every day that I’m out there seeing people and helping them and being that support they need in the home, it’s a good day for me. I love it.”

Taking her role as a home health caregiver seriously for more than a year, the licensed practical nurse spends her day on the road traveling dozens of miles to clients. Spending time with people where they live, Taelor prioritizes building relationships with those she serves.

“It is important because we serve so many people,” says Staci Good, Society administrative staff manager. “We try to keep them safe, and in their home, as long as possible.”

'Wonder Wimmer'

Sometimes that’s easier said than done. This past winter, one of Taelor’s clients was snowed in after several days of severe weather. Located out in the country, the house is often the last to see a plow.

“It had been over five days, and she was concerned that (the client) was not able to get any personal care services and the nursing services that week,” says Society administrator Kara Cline.

The person lived on their own and Taelor remembers it being a “scary situation.”

With no access for Society staff, or emergency services for that matter, Taelor took matters into her own hands. Fortunately, her husband’s truck had a plow blade.

“Talked him into helping me out to plow,” Taelor says about the two clearing the client’s road and driveway.

“I knew (the client) needed us. (They) needed to be able to have somebody get to (them).”

Staci adds, “now, she probably would have done it by hand if she needed to just to make sure the patient was safe.”

These efforts are just part of the reason why Taelor is being named the Good Samaritan Society’s National Ever Forward Caregiver Champion.

“She’s an everyday genuine person and our superhero in disguise,” Kara says. “We coined her as Wonder Wimmer.

“She does not falter with her compassion. It’s not, ‘it’s a rainy day; I don’t feel like doing that for my patient.’ It’s an everyday thing.”

Being lifted up as a national award winner was not on Taelor’s radar.

“Honestly, I don’t feel like I deserve this,” Taelor says. “I didn’t do anything extraordinary. I didn’t do anything out of my normal everyday life that I wouldn’t do for somebody on the street.”

'Not just a nurse, she's a friend'

Just down the street from the Society’s Indianola home care office, client Cherrie Bass has been seeing Taelor for more than a year.

“Taelor does deserve this award because she’s not just a nurse, she’s a friend,” Cherrie says.

Struggling with several health issues, Cherrie can get worn down visiting clinics outside her apartment. It’s why she treasures every visit from Taelor.

“It’s like having your own little private medical session without having to go out. I don’t like to get out,” Cherrie says.

Cherrie adds it makes her feel “safe, secure, I don’t have to stress out about going to the doctor.”

Resident Rose Wikoff lives alone in an independent living apartment at Good Samaritan Society – Indianola.

“She’s had a lot of loss in her life,” Taelor says. “I don’t want her to feel like she doesn’t have that support or that family or that connection.”

Not only does Taelor help Rose with her medications, but she also comes through in other ways.

“She’s understanding. I just love her to pieces,” says Rose. “I couldn’t have asked for a better friend. She’s helped me a lot because I’ve been through a lot.

“She’s there for you, she thinks about you and she loves you.”

Taelor puts it this way: “I want you to feel comfortable in your home. So, if I can make you feel comfortable with me, make you feel like you’re part of my family, that’s what I want.”

'Our team, we're like family'

A former nursing home assistant director of nursing as well, Taelor is hoping to grow in the nursing field moving forward. Teammates are encouraging her to pursue her RN.
In the meantime, the home health team in Indianola is going to celebrate their award winner.

“This kind of gives us all goosebumps and gives us those good feels of she really deserves this,” Kara says.

They’ll also continue to care for clients wherever they’re called to do so.

“Good Samaritan is in our name,” Taelor says. “Being in health care, you’re automatically a Good Samaritan because you’re willing and want to help people.”

“Our team, we’re like family. Everybody has their own different personalities; everybody brings something different to the table. The way that we work and get along I don’t feel like I’m coming to work when I come into the office.”

Related stories

Find a Good Samaritan Society location

Connect with Us

Sign up for the Good Samaritan Society's newsletter to learn about our mission and how we're making a difference. Stay up-to-date on health information, events, services, and more.