Esther Helton Loves Her Community - And Response

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

I am writing to support Esther Helton.  Esther and I have been good friends for more than 25 years.  Esther was working with Dialysis Clinics Inc. as an LPN in the early 1990’s when I began my career in dialysis.  She was one the best nurses I have ever worked with in my career. 

For those of you that have never worked in dialysis do not realize the sacrifice and work load a nurse is under while taking care of renal patients.  Esther balanced both her professional life and her family life during this period.

Anyone doubting her nursing career is foolish to think that she never worked.  That is wrong.  I worked side by side with Esther taking care of patients and making sure safe dialysis treatment was administered.  We have wrapped many needle packs and comforted many very sick patients.

Esther is a very humble individual.  She is forthright and cares about her community.  Esther has lived in East Ridge for as long as I have known her.  She loves the people of East Ridge and wants to better the community as well as the district.  

Esther is family-oriented. She is raised some remarkable children.  It was not always easy for Esther.  She has had her fair share of problems, but she overcame many trials she had to bear.

I am proud to call Esther Helton my friend.  She was supportive of me when my late husband was ill and then passed away.  She encourages people to strive to be good citizens.  She is also a good Christian lady.  She loves God and her church.  Esther’s heart is good, and she will represent District 30 with pride.  

Jewell “Tonnie” Kyle
Hixson

* * *

I was reading  "Chattanoogan.com" and found this article about my friend and former coworker Esther Helton.  I am thankful that this coworker of Esther's spoke up for her as a person and as an LPN. She was referring to a spot on a local radio talk show. I was disturbed that anyone would speak disparagingly in regard to her political aspirations and/or ability to represent our district because she is an LPN.

What disturbs me even more is to hear someone speak in a negative manner about LPNs in general.  It came across as an attack on Esther politically, as if "because she is just an LPN" that she didn't have the knowledge about health care that an RN would. Obviously this person is for her opponent but it was a direct sucker punch against LPNs.  The statement was made on local radio this week that LPNs did not have the knowledge regarding insurance and matters significant to health care regulation. 

I can tell you that LPNs have more clinical practicum hours required in their schooling than RNs are required to have.  I know this because I am an RN, and I taught LPN School.  LPNs know full well about health care as it relates to Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance coverage, rules and regulations. As an RN who has worked in various settings in my 32 years as an nurse, I can tell you that normally knowing what insurance will and won't cover is someone else's concern, while the "staff nurse" tasks herself with keeping your loved ones alive and ready for the next level of care. 

For this man to say that RNs know more than LPNs regarding any matter is because he didn’t  know what he was talking about. The skilled nursing facility world is saturated with skilled and brilliant LPNs who know too well about health insurance dictating length of stays, regulations for care after discharges, and what is required for equipment with various insurances. If he was attacking Esther because she's an LPN, what is there to say about other candidates who have no health care experience at all?  He needs to do some homework. 

When I was the DON and helped open a local skilled nursing facility, the first phone call I made when hiring the staff was to Esther Helton. I knew I could count on her and trust her with our patients.

She has been an LPN in various settings and is a valued friend and coworker. She will fight for our rights and concerns in many areas and yes in regards to healthcare.  She has experience, she has tenure, she has wisdom, and she has my vote.

Jennie Anderson

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