by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
I had the pleasure of visiting PARCway Post-Acute Recovery Center where I was greeted by a friendly staff. Here, they provide guests with top-notched skilled nursing facilities 24 hour, 7 days a week. With more than 20 licensed therapists, PARCway helps your loved ones transition back home or into an assisted living within 35-45 days admission.
From day one, the skilled nursing involves family input. From there, they maintain flexibility based on an individual’s current medical and emotional needs. They consistently inspire, innovate, and raise the industry standard.
When you were little, did you have a hero in your life? When I think of heroes, I usually think of a make-believe cartoon character, wearing a cape, flying through the sky and saving the world with their extraordinary power. Here at PARCway, there is a real hero to be found, according to the patients. That hero is Michael Matthews, LPN. He is a nurse that has an outgoing, magnetic personality that seems to attract people wherever he goes. He has a loud, strong voice yet can be gentle and quiet when he needs to be. “I’m not sure why people call me their hero,” he says. “I’m just doing my job and taking care of them the best way I can,” he adds modestly.
Matthews has been a nurse here at Parcway for 3 years. “I love my job,” he comments. “I have to admit, I do feel like a super hero at times. I am a patient advocate and I feel like I need to speak on behalf of older people when they can’t. I am their voice. That is my main goal and my main mission; helping others.”
When asking Matthews why he became a nurse, he gave a solid answer. “I’m actually much older than most of the nurses here. I decided to become a nurse at the age of 40. I knew that a nurse was the one person that could walk into a hospital room and make the patient happy, filling their life with joy, even if it was just for a minute. It was then I knew I would set a goal for myself. I wanted to help others in such a way that it became my mission and becoming a nurse was one of the best decisions I ever made. I like to care for others and I like making them smile and laugh. Sometimes, all it takes is a kind word to light up a room and make the patient happy.”
Matthews went to school at Metro Tech. “It was tough but I knew if I was going to be a nurse, I needed to be tough. I needed to study hard and set goals. I knew I would be helping others,” he said. “Why, I would be saving lives,” he added.
“In your opinion, what qualities make a good nurse?” I ask. “There are quite a few qualities that make a good nurse. Patience, kindness, knowledge, the right direction for the patient, considering the patients’ diet and physical therapy, but most of all, I think that a nurse needs to have compassion.”
Asking Matthews what advice he would give to someone going into the medical field, he replied, “They have to love it, put their best foot forward, and most of all, they have to ROCK IT,” he added with a laugh. “I think I do that. I ROCK IT!”
“What is your best quality at work?” I ask Matthews. “I have to get to know the patient, really know them. Then, I know what motivates them, know what makes them laugh, do whatever it is I need to do to make them better,” he says. “Oh, and I always make sure each job is complete. I always follow through with whatever I set out to do.”
After talking with Matthews for a while, I asked him if he had any hobbies. “Yes, I fly drones,’ he replied. “I’ve done that for about 6 months now. It’s fun and relaxing. You might be surprised at my other hobby,” he added with a laugh. “I’m a DJ at several local clubs at night. I also like Karaoke. Some say that I can sing but I don’t know about that. I do that at night and on weekends. “I guess you could say that is my other life,” he laughs. I smile at the mere thought; Michael Matthews, LPN by day, DJ by night. Either way, he is a hero in the eyes of many.
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