May 16, 2012 - By Curtis Pulliam
Sometimes in life, the best things that happen are those that are unexpected.
"I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do once I got out of high school," Megan Murphy, who graduated in 2008 from Oxford High School, said. "Then my friend told me about a job opening with Expert Care and I was looking for a job at the time and I had always been good with people, so I figured 'why not'? It was something I kind of just fell upon and now I absolutely love it."
Murphy, now 22, has worked as a caregiver since December of 2009. She currently works for Expert Care and The ARC of Oakland County. The two companies provide caregivers to those in need.
However, Murphy works specifically with patients with special needs, from children to senior citizens.
As of right now, she has five patients, which she helps with countless activities, ranging from companionship to personal care.
"Right now, I'm working about 70 to 80 hours a week," Murphy said. "My job can change depending on the person but includes anything from helping them with hygiene, taking them to community functions, or just the demands of everyday living. Mostly, I am there to help them with things they would not be able to do on their own."
In addition to working, Murphy is attending Baker College.
There she is enrolled in the Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse Program.
Nonetheless, Murphy doesn't feel overwhelmed with the work load that she has. "I work between 67-79 hours even when I'm going to school," Murphy said. "For me, it's not that hard to balance school and work because I can be flexible and work them around each other."
But now Murphy is being rewarded for her hard work, dedication, and patience as she is among 10 caregivers across six local counties to be presented with the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center Angels Award.
The award consists of an "Angels" jacket and a check for $250.
"I wasn't aware of the award until I was told that I had won it," Murphy said. "I was very surprised when I heard about it."
Murphy, who was nominated for the award by a grateful family, will receive the award on Thursday May 17, at the 30th Annual MORC Caregiver Appreciation Day.
"It is nice to be recognized by people that don't always say that you are doing a good job," Murphy said. "It is a great honor to receive this award and the Appreciation Day should be a lot fun."
On top of winning the Angels award, Murphy believes her work is rewarding in other ways.
"Just knowing that you are making a difference in someone's life that really needs it is rewarding," Murphy said. "A lot of people don't realize how easy they have it. Also, it has variety. You are not doing the same thing with each client."
As much as she enjoys what she does, Murphy has some advice for people thinking about heading into the medical field or considering being a caretaker.
"If you don't have any patience, it probably is not the right field of work for you," Murphy said.