Older and Wiser

Bea, sitting with a gray file box

The Little Gray File Box

By Bea Baker

Hello from Valley View Village in Des Moines, IA.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Bea Baker. I have been working at Valley View Village since May 18, 1981.

I was first hired as a Certified Nursing Assistant on the 2-10 shift, as they didn’t hire Certified Medication Aides “off the street”.

I needed to show them that I was trustworthy to move into that position.

In approximately 2 years I transitioned to a Certified Medication Aide position on the day shift.

As the years went, in addition to passing medications, I started to help with filing, checking Medication Records and Treatment Records at the first and last of the month, transcribing doctor’s orders, ordering supplies for the nursing department.

In 1992, I became the Ward Clerk for the nursing department.

In addition to the “paper work” as listed above, I began doing the nursing schedule, went with the doctor’s on rounds and keep record of when they were here and when they needed to come in. I even drove some of the resident’s to doctor’s appt. (Wheelchair transport wasn’t available yet)

In 2005/2006 my title changed to Quality Assurance Manager for Medical Records.

Oh the changes, I have seen.

As Medical Records Manager, I have saved the Little Gray File Box from being destroyed.

The little gray file box represents the past of Valley View Village, but also the future.

Many names that are listed on the 3×5 index cards bring back many, many memories.

There are some memories that make me smile, some that make me sad, some that cause me to chuckle and some that make me shake my head.

Many of those 3×5 cards belong together as they represent multiple generations of family or multiple family members of the same generation.

The 3×5 cards- Hold a lot of information; Their names, the date of entry, the date they moved to the different rooms they may have been in, if they went to the hospital, if they moved from the Cottages, or Manor to the Custodial Apartments (later called Catered Living) or to the Health Center and then ultimately the date when they moved out or passed away. Some cards have a lot of information, others not so much.

So when talking with Tim, Rita or Susan from our times together here at Valley View Village 30+ years ago or someone from just 10-12 years ago and we are remembering the past, but can’t think of the right names…..I can go to the Little Gray File Box and look it up.

Bea Baker has faithfully served Valley View Village in a variety of roles for 42 years.