Director of Nursing Provides Compassionate Care at Starling at San Jose
Here at Starling at San Jose, our goal is to exceed the expectations of our residents, their families, our vendors and partners every day — and it’s our wonderful employees who make that possible. No matter the role, working in a premier senior living community like Starling at San Jose requires compassion, professionalism, and integrity.
A key member of our exceptional team is Julie May, RN. Julie is our Director of Nursing, and every day she walks through the door determined to make a difference. She knew from a young age that she wanted to work in the medical field and found her passion in doing so with seniors.
To learn more about Julie, keep reading!
What is your favorite thing about working at Starling at San Jose?
I love when I walk in the door at Starling at San Jose — it feels like I’ve entered a beautiful, world-class resort. The staff is so helpful and friendly, and the residents are so involved in making their community a home. They actively participate in their dining experience through menu planning, as well as attend resident council meetings to come up with helpful and creative ideas for all of the departments to make sure we’re constantly adapting to the needs of our residents. They don’t criticize, but instead, problem-solve with the staff. I love the feeling that we are all one whole unit, both residents and staff, working together to make life easier and more enjoyable. Go team Starling!
What is your favorite thing about working with seniors?
My favorite thing about working with seniors is learning about their life stories. They have had an entire lifetime of successes and lessons learned, and they love talking about it! In my career, I’ve had the honor of caring for the first woman to graduate from Harvard, the doctor who developed a valve for heart transplant surgery, and many more incredible people. I love getting past the aches and pains, decreased mobility, or appetite issues to meet the real person through their memories, stories and pictures.
What is your background prior to joining the team at Starling? Why did you decide to have a career in senior living?
I graduated in from the University of Iowa (go Hawkeyes!) in 1987. I moved to Corpus Christi, Texas for the warm weather, where I worked on a busy med/surg floor as the evening charge nurse, and later on the Intensive Care Unit as a member of the hospital’s “code blue” team. I later moved to Jacksonville, where I answered an ad for a Director of Nursing position at an Assisted Living community, and the executive director asked me only one question, “Do you live over the Buckman Bridge?” I didn’t even know what that was, so I said “No” and got the job! That was the beginning of my career working with a population that I love and respect. I was also the Director of Education at a local five-star skilled nursing facility for several years, where I co-taught a six-week certified nursing assistant class and provided training and skills assessments for the clinical staff.
What is your favorite thing to do with residents? What are some of their favorite activities?
I love to go out into the community with the residents. They want to remain in touch with the things they enjoyed in the community. Some of the more frequent requests include heading to the symphony, Alhambra, and movies, as well as taking leisure rides through old Jacksonville neighborhoods, enjoying meals out, and attending worship services. It’s not just about Bingo anymore — although that is still a favorite!
What does a day in your life at Starling at San Jose look like?
My days at Starling at San Jose are never the same. Once I’m in the door, we have a quick meeting with staff, and then we’re off and running. On any day, I may have doctors doing rounds, labs being drawn, and x-rays being taken, all in the comfort of the residents’ apartments. Some days we have a visiting psychologist that runs group sessions or individual counseling. I also have “Clinic Day with Julie May,” which may consist of taking blood pressures, changing bandages, or monitoring blood sugar levels, as well as a lot of chatting about current events. We all have such different views, so we call it our “stirring the pot” group. Between visiting residents that may be in the hospital or rehab, and doing home visits for potential future residents, my mornings are full. In the afternoon, I may meet with families or residents to ensure we are giving the needed care, or I might touch base with any of our many agencies and outside vendors that help us make everything more comfortable.
If you weren’t working in senior living, what would you be doing?
I have a picture when I was 4 years old playing “nurse.” I had a toy syringe that I put a sewing needle down at the tip and gave all of my neighborhood friends shots! That didn’t last long, but I grew up doing exactly what I always wanted to do — minus the sewing needle. I absolutely love what I am doing!
Starling at San Jose encourages residents to live well in an unparalleled environment with resort-style amenities, superior services, and comfortable residences that feel like home. If you would like to learn more about the personalized lifestyles and dynamic experiences offered at the new Starling at San Jose, please give us a call at 904.510.5482.