Archived Story

Experience at Broen will serve Zetah well

Published 11:13am Thursday, April 25, 2013

When Andrea Zetah was old enough to get a job, her mom suggested she apply for a dietary position at Broen Home. But others at the long-term care facility steered Zetah in a different direction.

“I realized then that this was what I was supposed to do,” Zetah said.

She started at Broen in 1989 working with residents as a nurse’s assistant. After 25 years, and working in nearly every department — except dietary — she was named the administrator earlier this month.

“I never thought it would continue,” she said. “Let alone serve as director of nursing, let alone be the administrator. I still can’t believe it.”

Becky Odden, executive director of Lakeland Home Care and Lakeland Hospice, who hired Zetah when she was 16, said she was a natural choice. At that time, Odden was the director of nursing at Broen Home.

“She is such a people person, such a caring person with an aptitude for solving problems,” Odden said. “She has the base of knowledge. She knows what’s important and what is good for the patients.”

Zetah, a Fergus Falls High School graduate, worked at Broen as a high school student and part-time through college. She was torn between majors — nursing or physical therapy— when she attended a campus ministry retreat and made her choice.

“I was snowshoeing near the Boundary Waters and looking at what I had done at Broen Home and all the cool nurses I had worked with,” Zetah said, when the answer came to her.

She received a B.A. in nursing from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth and has worked as a charge nurse, RN unit coordinator, and Director of Nursing. In 2011, she was named assistant administrator when her mentor, Becky Odden, was named Lakeland Hospice and Home Care director.

She has seen many changes in the facility over the years. When she worked in the assisted living area, people needed fewer services, perhaps meals or other minor assistance.

“We could put people on the Joyrider bus and go to an event,” she said.

But now people enter the home with more needs — physically, medically and behaviorally.

Funding for homes such as Broen, has also changed, she said, with staff having to do more with less. That’s where her love of problem-solving will be helpful, she said.

“Each year, we try to do (what is required) as creatively as possible,” Zetah said.

Going forward, she plans to continue the home’s clinical strengths while providing an inspiring work environment.

“I am very proud of the longevity of staff,” she said, adding that many have worked at the home for 35 to 40 years. “I want to make Broen Home someplace where residents want to live and staff want to work.”

Zetah completed the requirements for her administrator’s license online through the University of Minnesota, Crookston. She likes the challenges of the new job — being more involved in human resources work and working with staff. But her favorite part of the job continues to be building relationships with residents and their families.

“It’s like a family here (at Broen Home),” she said. “People come to stay the rest of their years, and we get to know them. Staff become part of the family.”

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