UP CLOSE & PERSONAL
WITH ALAN K. STOUT
Missy Vaughn is a registered nurse with DaVita, specializing in acute dialysis, who works at Regional Hospital of Scranton, Moses Taylor Hospital and Pocono Medical Center. Vaughn is a graduate of Scranton Central High School and Penn State University, where she received a degree in physiology. After working in the physical therapy field for 10 years, she returned to Penn State and became a registered nurse. She has two sons, Nicholas and Frank, and lives in Jefferson Twp.
Meet Missy Vaughn…
What first made you decide that you wanted to become a nurse?
It goes way back to high school. I’ve always taken care of people. When I was 15, I started working with mentally challenged individuals at Keystone City Residence. All through high school, that was my job. I was always interested in helping people and using my intelligence, because I loved science. It was just a natural progression. So I went to physiology school. Later, after staying home with my boys for a while, I felt I needed a job where I felt challenged every day. And nursing changes every day. I meet new people every day. And I can make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
Actually getting to know the patients. If someone’s a little crabby, you know you can change their attitude just by giving them a piece of candy or something. A lot of times, because they’re acutely ill, they’re with us for quite some time. I just had a patient that was in the ICU for two months and did not communicate whatsoever. And last week, he had a trachea placed, and he came walking into the room and said, “Hey, Melissa!” He had heard everything we said. He knew about everything we talked about. He knew about my children. It was nice to see him talk and walk and be able to leave the hospital.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I really enjoy cooking. It’s like my mental break. Everybody always asks, “Are you going to cook for me?” or “When can I come over?” I’m also an avid skier, and I love to dance. And recently, I’ve become an excellent traveler. (Laughs) I’m really good at it. I went to Spain. I was in Turkey. And I’ve gone on my own, to visit people. Last month, I went to Vegas. I was driving home, the snow was coming down, and I said, “I’m going to Vegas.” Traveling is one thing that I want to focus on in the future.
It’s eclectic. I love all ages of music and all types of music. We have speakers throughout the house, so when my sons hear the music, they go, “Mom’s cooking again.” When I put the music on, they know. I just love everything.
What was the best concert you ever saw?
My very first concert was exciting. It was the Violent Femmes. Sting was amazing. Billy Joel was amazing.
Do you follow sports?
Of course, the Eagles.
Of course. Weren’t you a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader?
I was a professional cheerleader for the Eagles for two years. We did all of the home games. We only did road games if we went to the playoffs, and my first year that I cheered, we played Dallas for a seed in the playoffs, and we lost. But that’s still my team. It’s love and hate.
Do you have a charity of choice?
I do some work with the National Kidney Foundation. There is a great need for organ donors.
Barcelona and, of course, New York City. And I love Philadelphia. I feel at home there.
Favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere where there’s sand, sun and some trees. That works for me.
Favorite thing about NEPA?
The sense of community that we have here.
A lot of people are involved in charities and giving back to the community. It’s like we kind of take care of our own.
All-time favorite movie?
“Love Affair” with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening.
Favorite TV show?
“The Walking Dead.”
A ’91 or ’92 mystic magenta Geo Storm.
Christmas is fun. I like to decorate. But I actually like Thanksgiving the best.
I’m all about meat.
Two golden retrievers. Bruno is 14, and Bailee is 4.
Wine. And scratch-off lottery tickets.
Is there anything about you that might surprise even your friends?
I met Ted Nugent at a concert years ago. I think I was 20. And somehow I talked a guy into letting me into the back. Ted Nugent was walking around with a bunch of fans that were backstage VIPs or something and he stopped and said to me, “I have to tell you. I wrote ‘Foxy Lady’ about you.” He signed a poster, “To my Foxy lady … Ted Nugent.” (Laughs)
Have you had anything specific that’s happened to you in your life that has helped shaped you into the person you are today?
I knew my best friend in high school. We weren’t best friends then, but we met up again years later. And meeting back up with her and learning about the struggles that she had been through — she was married, had a newborn baby and was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her husband walked out — helping her go through those struggles has taught me a lot. She taught me how to be a better friend. And you also learn that some things aren’t always transparent and you can’t always understand what other people are going through. It’s taught me to think more about other people, even in how I think about my patients. I’ll question them, “Do you live at home?” or “What are you going to do when you get out of here?” It’s taught me even more about assisting them and finding the right path for them, if they need help.
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL with ALAN K. STOUT is a regular feature in electric city, profiling people from all walks of life throughout NEPA. Reach Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
photos by emma black