Michael Matthews, LPN, ADON, brings a smile to his daily routine of greeting the residents at St. Ann’s Skilled Nursing and Therapy.

ADON gives his best

by James Coburn – staff writer

Michael Matthews, LPN, communicates with his eyes and smile when talking about St. Ann’s Skilled Nursing and Therapy located in Oklahoma City. It comes naturally with a friendly heart. Matthews serves as St. Ann’s assistant director of nursing.
“It’s the family environment. I feel like I’m at home with my parents, and when I’m working with my coworkers, I feel like they’re my brothers and sisters,” Matthews said.
He knows to treat the residents as if they are his parents. Doing things right for people he loves motivates him to be a leader with new employees and the residents.
“I’ll see if I can inspire them to be the same,” he said. (story continues below)

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The nursing staff works as a team to make sure everything runs properly, he said, by picking up slack when their coworkers are in need. Nurses and their aides rise to the occasion. Newly hired staff trained during the pandemic entered the heat of COVID without missing a beat, he said.
“They helped the people in need. That was one of my biggest inspirations,” Matthews said.
He recalled thinking that an elderly resident was going to pass away leading up to being transferred to a hospital. But the woman was stubborn. She was on a ventilator and the hospital staff thought she would die.
“She got there with COVID, but she came back. To this day, this lady still gives me a hard time every time I go into her room,” he chuckled. “She still has spunk after going through all that. She’s an invalid — you have to do everything for her — but she still stays present because she loves life.”
His own journey to become a nurse sparked in 2009 when his mother was terminally ill. At the time, Matthews supervised a phlebotomy center He wanted to improve the plight of other patients. He was visiting his mother at the hospital when a nurse entered the room.
“The nurse was totally rude like I had never seen someone treat a patient the way he treated my mom,” Matthews said. “I told my mom that day I was going to be a nurse. I would show them how to be compassionate toward somebody’s loved one.”
Matthews graduated from Metro Technology Center in OKC to become an LPN in 2013 after a brief career of being a 3rd and 5th grade teacher. He decided to go to nursing school when working part-time in a doctor’s office. He’s been with St. Ann’s for nearly two years.
He helps to hire and train the staff, does quality control. Matthews makes a point to greet all the residents when he enters the building and takes people on tours.
“In nursing if you don’t have compassion, it’s not where you’re supposed to be,” he said. “If you love people and you love taking care of people, and you feel like you have a calling, then this is where you’re supposed to be.”
Some people get into nursing for the wrong reasons. It’s not about a paycheck. Nursing is about serving others.
“They think you’re going to make all this money. Money isn’t everything. And in some nursing jobs you don’t get paid a lot of money to be a nurse. You know, you must love the job. If you don’t love the job, those are the ones you see burn out.”
He gets to know each of the residents and they in-turn learn more about him. Matthews works as a DJ at the Starlight Lounge or weddings when he is not on the job at St. Ann’s. He recently did a gig for Amazon on Black Friday at their local headquarters.
“I was out there in the cold DJing at the place while people went into the building,” he said.
He also has a son in graduate school at Oklahoma State University where his major is in psychology.
Matthews prepares himself for his transition back to work by getting ready for the daily staff meetings at St. Ann’s. They discuss daily events in the facility and focusing on patient centered care. They focus on staffing by making sure enough nursing staff is present in the building.
“If not, a management team member like one of us will step in to take that place. No one is above the team, even the administrator. Our administrator passed the CNA test, so she works on the floor. She keeps us relevant. Everybody on our team works on the floor. We have fun around here. I just love the patients and they love me.”
For more information about St. Ann’s Skilled Nursing and Therapy call (405) 728-7888 or visit: