by Emily Buckley, editor-in-chief
Mike Scriver, of Hyrum, didn’t always plan to be a nurse, and he definitely didn’t plan to spend 20 years working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“I am often asked how I ended up in predominantly, historically a woman’s career field working with newborns,” Mike said. He recalls discussing career opportunities with his childhood best friend and thinking he would become some kind of “medical person,” with ambitions to become an optometrist.
After beginning school and then taking a hiatus due to the demands of a quickly growing family, Mike joined the Utah National Guard for the educational benefits and trained as a Combat Medic. It was while serving at a medical dispensary at a NATO training site in Germany during Desert Storm that Mike realized he thoroughly enjoyed working with the patient population and decided he wanted to become a nurse.
“Nursing is a great profession,” Mike said. “There are so many options and so much variety every day that you never get bored.”
Upon return from deployment, Mike attended Weber State University’s nursing program at Utah State University and earned his nursing degree, all while juggling driving truck and taking on the demands at home, while his wife, Lori, worked the night shift at WalMart. “It was a rough four years,” Mike said, “It was an investment, and we survived.”
Months after graduation Mike was working on the float pool at Logan Regional Hospital and was assigned to a night shift in the NICU. He quickly remembered a trying time in his own life when his oldest son, who was born prematurely, had spent three weeks in NICU in Missoula, Montana. He also recalled the NICU shift he had worked as a student, surrounded by beeps, alarms and monitors and felt overwhelmed and intimidated, but went through with assignment anyway.
“I spent the night with those little babes and loved it,” Mike said. “I found myself working there more and more, and floating to other departments less and less. I eventually just stuck there.”
Now, 20 years later, Mike has cared for thousands of premature and sick newborn babies in the NICU at Logan Regional Hospital and says it is a job he still loves. He enjoys the opportunity to work with parents and helping them get through the challenge of caring for a premature or sick baby. “It’s kind of like playing grandpa,” Mike said. “We take care of the kids and send them home.”
Mike and Lori are the parents of six children, five of which are now adults. Their youngest son, Matt, came to their family through foster care as a baby and was adopted when he was 4 years old.
“Interestingly,” Mike said. “Matt was a baby that I cared for in the NICU after he was born. I have taken care of thousands of babies, and, of course, don’t remember them all, but I remembered him instantly when he came to our home. From the beginning, he was a part of us.”
Mike admits that life didn’t turn out as he planned, and, for him, that’s just fine. When asked what he enjoys most about his job, Mike says it doesn’t feel like work. “When you find something you love it is just fun — more play than work.”