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New Lake Mills Care Center administrator loves job

Amanda Creen is Lake Mills Care Center’s newest administrator. - Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

Amanda Creen is Lake Mills Care Center’s newest administrator. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

LAKE MILLS — It takes everyone time to find their niche.

Some know sooner than others, some dip their toes in several different things and some continuously look for what peaks their interest the most.

For Amanda Creen, Lake Mills Care Center’s newest administrator, it took her some time after high school and a family experience to figure out that caring for the ones who can’t care for themselves anymore was what she wanted to do.

A native of Iowa, being born in Keokuk and growing up in Des Moines, Creen attended East High School in Des Moines and graduated in 2002. Upon graduating, she moved back to southeastern Iowa and attended Southeastern Iowa Community College where she obtained her associate’s degree. She then transferred to Iowa State University and graduated in 2013. She spent two years looking for a job, but had some trouble finding one.

“I couldn’t find a job, so I went to one of my education counselors,” Creen said. “He asked me, ‘What makes you happy?’ And I said, ‘What makes me happy was the experience I had when my grandmother and uncle were in the hospital, and I got to help them with their discharge planning and care for them.’”

Lake Mills Care Center is a nursing home at 406 S. 10th Ave. E in Lake Mills. Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

Lake Mills Care Center is a nursing home at 406 S. 10th Ave. E in Lake Mills. Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

From there, Creen discovered getting a nursing administration license would only take her a semester and a half from Des Moines Area Community College. She also had to complete a 400-hour internship, which she did at Madrid Home Communities in Madrid, Iowa.

“It worked out nice because I applied for the job in Lake Mills while doing my internship,” Creen said. “I ended my time in Madrid on a Friday and started my job in Lake Mills on Monday.”

Creen arrived in Lake Mills in March 2016 as a provisional administrator. She had to wait until November to become officially licensed.

So far, she has loved every moment of her job.

“I have a tremendous staff to help me out,” Creen said. “I am constantly learning every single day from my staff. We have some members who have been here for over 20 years, so why not learn from them?”

Creen said there is an open line of communication between all workers in the building, and it makes everyone’s job a lot easier.

“If you can’t work as a team in this profession, it will make it difficult for not only you, but the patients, too,” she said.

Creen said her favorite part of the job is interacting with patients and getting to know them and their families, which is also important.

“It is important to know the families of the patients as best as you can,” Creen said. “It’s also important because the family deserves to know you, too, because you are taking care of their loved one(s).”

What happened between 2002 and 2013? What did Creen do with all her time?

“I went on a lot of vacations,” Creen said with a smile.

Creen is a fan of extreme couponing, and said she saves big bucks while at the grocery store. She also has won many prizes and trips by entering sweepstakes giveaways. In an article posted in the Ames Tribune in January 2016, it stated Creen brought her monthly food bill from $700 down to $250.

She got married five years ago.

“While I enjoy the couponing and winning sweepstakes, helping care for people was what I have wanted to do,” Creen said. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was younger. In kindergarten, the teacher would wonder why my paper was blank when I was asked to draw what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”

Now that she has found what she wants to do, she plans on taking her game to a new level every day.

“Every morning I wake up, I ask myself ‘How can I make patients’ lives easier?’” Creen said. “I’m learning every day.”

By the numbers

10 – Months Creen has been at Lake Mills Care Center

2013 – Year Creen graduated from Iowa State University

75 – Patients living at Lake Mills Care Center

5 – Years Creen has been married