When Hailey Mullen was a senior in high school, she wanted a job. What she got was more than she expected, including a career path for her future.
In April of 2011, Mullen joined the staff of Manatawny Manor, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, working in the dining hall in the evenings during school and full-time in the summer. After graduation, she enrolled at a local community college to study psychology.
“I met some of the personal care staff and they convinced me to work as an aide,” she explains. “For a while, I was working in both the dining hall and in personal care. In July of 2012, I took a full-time position in personal care on second shift.”
Work became the priority, Mullen says, as she next became a medical technician. And, recently, she began a 15-month LPN program, with aspirations to go even further.
In fact, she has found her working environment to be an education in itself. “I never thought I’d learn so much outside of school,” she says. “There is so much hands-on opportunity with what we do. My long-term goal is to get my BSN degree, but there’s nothing wrong with being an LPN. It’s an important role.”
Mullen speaks highly of her co-workers at Manatawny Manor and the support they’ve given her, saying, “They’ve seen me grow up.”
“We especially enjoy working with young people because we get to see them succeed!”
Jean Wassel, administrator of personal care at Manatawny Manor, calls Mullen “such a good human.” She describes one of the first situations in which she saw Mullen interact with a new resident arriving from a hospital.
“Hailey was so respectful and went out of her way to make her feel welcome,” Wassel says. “With residents, she is the perfect mix of compassion and encouragement.”
Wassel and others say they see a young person who seems wise beyond her years. In response, Mullen describes being close to her grandparents growing up, living with them for a period of time. She likes working with older adults, but also sees how a nursing degree can provide many options.
“With nursing, you have such an array of places you can go,” Mullen says. “I think you learn more in a nursing home, for example, than in a doctor’s office. As an aide, I am getting so much hands-on experience, which is the best way to learn.”
Wherever Mullen’s nursing career takes her, Wassel feels that Manatawny Manor was the right place for her to begin.
“It’s always great when somebody comes here from high school,” she says. “Some know in the first week that it’s not for them but others take to it immediately. Manatawny Manor has a lot of people who come here to work and stay. It’s an easy place to become comfortable. I especially enjoy that with young people because we get to see them succeed!”