Miranda Hay finds purpose as a flight nurse and volunteer
It’s often said that when you love your work, it doesn’t seem like work at all. That’s certainly been Miranda Hay’s experience. After earning two degrees from Ivy Tech Community College, she has served as a paramedic and a flight nurse on a medical helicopter—and has discovered not just a career, but her purpose.
“It was a 13-year road to my goal, but it was worth every minute because I have the greatest job in the world, and it is my passion,” says Hay.
Hay says she chose Ivy Tech due to its affordability and reputation, along with a balance between classroom education and clinical time.
“As an Ivy Tech nursing student, you hit the floor running during the clinical rotation,” she says, “and that hands-on experience prepared me to work in the E.R. after graduation.”
Hay built on what she learned at Ivy Tech through her work as a critical care nurse and then moved on to work in the ER in the Level 1 Trauma Center. Her education and experience combined to propel Hay to achieve what she had set out to do: become a flight nurse. She now works for PHI Air Medical/StatFlight.
Hay’s passion to help others led to her volunteer work with the Humane Society of Sullivan County. She strove to save animals from euthanasia by coordinating adoption events in partnership with PetSmart, as well as transferring dogs from overpopulated shelters to other shelters in surrounding areas. Hay went above and beyond the traditional volunteer role, becoming a Certified Behavior Assessor for the PetSmart Rescue Waggin’ Program as well as the shelter’s marketing coordinator. She assumed the role of President in 2011 and learned to take professional photos of the pets to ensure their chances of getting adopted quickly. With the help of others Hay reduced the euthanasia rate from over 70 percent to zero.
“I dedicated my life to the success of the shelter for six years, and the experience was priceless,” says Hay. “I helped save the lives of almost 10,000 animals in five years and began to change the culture in our community about adopting and spaying/neutering.”
Hay’s work with the Humane Society was one of the most rewarding things she accomplished and earned her the Oprah Magazine “Beauty of Giving Back” award. She was chosen as one of four women nationwide for her selfless dedication to saving the lives of animals.
Despite all she has accomplished, Hay’s goals continue to evolve. Her current position as a member of the Critical Incident Response Team has inspired an interest to work with public service professionals and military men and women suffering from PTSD and to work with PTSD service dogs for soldiers returning from war. To move forward with this new passion, Hays intends to pursue a BS in Nursing and MS in Psychology.
In keeping with her values, Hay notes that she’s received as much from her experiences as those who have benefitted from her work and her example.
“Being passionate, helping someone other than yourself, being the voice for the voiceless, and giving back has made me a better person, and for that I am forever grateful,” Hay says.