For Judy DiGioia, RN, a day charge nurse at Maine Veterans’ Homes, there’s one thing she loves most about working with the veterans: Their smiles.
“That’s something you can’t buy. It’s priceless - more than silver, or gold, or money or any tangible thing that you could hold,” she said.
DiGioia has been at Maine Veterans’ Homes - Machias since it first opened 14 years ago. She says she had been at another local long term care facility, but the MVH benefits and working conditions were too good to pass up.
In addition, MVH also helped pay for DiGioia’s RN degree - and later, her certification (B.C.) in gerontology.
“They were gracious enough to help pay for furthering my education. I was able to go on and get my RN degree, and they paid for basically the whole thing,” she said.
Working with Veterans
“You hear about what they did for our country, but I don’t know if it actually sinks in until you work with them. You hear their stories, real-life stories, and what they sacrificed, so it just hits home,” said DiGioia of working with the veterans at MVH.
She likened her nursing job to being a detective: uncovering problems and investigating until she finds a solution. And she enjoys learning each day from the residents and their families.
While working with veterans, DiGioia said she hears lots of stories - some that the veteran has never told anyone else. She noted a recent example, in which a resident recounted his experience of serving aboard a naval ship decades ago and seeing its effect on the other soldiers there.
“They still keep pretty much of it inside. When they’re ready to talk, they talk. And sometimes it’s very helpful for them to get it off their chest, to tell somebody,” said DiGioia.
DiGioia’s Career at Maine Veterans’ Homes
In DiGioia’s time at MVH, she’s served on various committees - ones to prevent falls, improve safety and help engage other staff members, to name a few - in the name of improving the place where she loves to work.
“I’m proud to be a part of MVH - working with them as well as with the coworkers and staff we have here. I think it’s a pretty special place,” she said.
She added, “I think [my favorite part of the job is] finding solutions and reaping the results of the veterans’ gratitude. I just feel like that’s one way that I can give back, one way that I can repay. I am very proud when people say, ‘Where do you work?’ I work for Maine Veterans’ Homes.”
Working at Maine Veterans’ Homes
Maine Veterans’ Homes is a nonprofit, independent community of six homes serving veterans and eligible family members. Our first duty is to our residents - the men and women who have served our country.
If you’re interested in a career with excellent benefits, coworkers who will support you and a rewarding environment, Maine Veterans’ Homes could be right for you. Learn more about working here and see our open positions.