Patience leads to big payday for Port Orchard woman

A Port Orchard woman is proving that patience and selflessness in the workplace can pay off after being awarded a cash prize by her employer as part of a national contest.

Jessica Manderson has worked for six years at Visiting Angels, a national home nursing and personal home care provider. Her careful work with her clients, including a 104-year-old woman, led the Port Orchard branch to nominate her for Caregiver of the Year.

A post on the Visiting Angels Facebook page says, “It was a struggle to name just one person as our caregiver of the year. Still, we selected Jessica because she has proven to be one of our staff’s most caring, compassionate and lovely caregivers.”

Manderson said that her job “takes a lot of understanding and patience.”

She said one of her clients forgets things and will call her frequently as a result, for example. Despite the traffic that this and other clients bring to her work, Manderson said that she is not bothered by it.

“I’m really understanding of her needs, and I don’t get stressed out when she calls me very frequently, like every fifteen minutes,” she said.

Manderson also said that she enjoys making the trip, and that every trip she makes to that house helps her continue to build her experience in the workplace and her relationships with clients. “I love going to her house because I’ve learned a lot through her and her family, and I find it kind of wonderful.”

Visiting Angels says Manderson does not draw the line at simply caring for her clients, as she also is “an advocate for her clients. She can anticipate what a client needs even before they ask. Jessica knows how to diffuse conflict and de-escalate situations that can arise when working with seniors. Jessica stays calm in emergencies and even volunteered to drive other caregivers home during our big snowstorm this past year.”

Visiting Angels announced July 21 that Manderson finished as one of two finalists for the prestigious award. The branch presented Manderson with a prize and a check for $2,500. Manderson, who was already excited about just being nominated, said that it was quite the honor.

“I was kind of speechless,” she said. “It makes me feel like I’m doing something right. I love that they really think that of me.”