Michelle, Firefly Nurse

image of michelle

“. . . I spend time with a client and build a relationship with them and their family. They become like my family.”

Tell us about you: I have three boys ages 17, 13 and 10, and they keep me busy, especially with virtual learning. Also, I’ve been married for two years to my husband, Matt.

You’ve been with Firefly for seven years. Tell us about your career: I was at Ivy Tech pursuing a nursing degree when I saw an ad for a Firefly caregiver. I worked as a caregiver while I was in school. After graduation, I worked somewhere else for a short time before returning to Firefly as an intake specialist until a nursing position opened up. I’ve been a nurse for three years, and I pick up occasional caregiving shifts, especially when they are also my nursing clients.

Why do you work both nursing and caregiving shifts? It started with one of my nursing patients. He had family living with him, but his home situation changed recently and now he is alone. On my nursing visit, I noticed he could use help around the house. We’d developed a good relationship, and I wanted to help. Now, I have a nursing shift with him once a week and caregiving shifts. 

What is different about being a Firefly nurse? It’s definitely the time you spend with a client. In a facility, you have ten to twenty minutes with a client and you don’t get to know them. As a Firefly nurse, I spend time with the client and build a relationship with them and their family. They become my family.

What is something out of the ordinary that you’ve done with a client? One client pulled out bagpipes and showed me how to play them. He was tickled that someone had an interest in bagpipes. It was fun. I even have pictures!

What’s your favorite activity to do with clients? I enjoy working with dementia clients, especially doing puzzles and working to engage them in conversation. We have many VA clients and they all have war stories. It’s interesting to hear the history of what they are willing to share.

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