Ericka Hankins is a passionate person who is a perfect fit among the people at FirstLight HomeCare. She’s coming up on her one-year anniversary at the business, and she has loved every minute of it.
“I started out as a caregiver, and now I’m the head scheduler for our office,” Hankins said. “I take care of the caregivers’ schedules with the clients and sometimes I fill in for a caregiver when needed.”
Hankins is a La Crosse resident who has roots in Valparaiso and other parts of the country. Her father was a Marine and her family moved around a lot with him. After graduating from Valparaiso High School Hankins had a family. She has three children who have busy schedules and she is quite dedicated to them.
Hankins had a goal of being a surgical technician and went to get into the program offered for it at Ivy Tech. She has a degree in computer sciences and wanted to incorporate that with a medical degree. She didn’t get into the program but one of her professors told her to try again next year and in the meantime get some certifications and raise her GPA. She thought that was a good idea and got her CNA certification and her dementia certification. With these she was able to get a technical certificate in health care support.
After this, Hankins wanted to utilize her education. She didn’t want to work in a nursing home, it just wasn’t for her. She spoke to a professor about it and she suggested Hankins look into FirstLight HomeCare.
“I went online and filled out an application and that day they called me and had me come in for an interview later in the week,” Hankins said. “A few days later I was put on the schedule.”
She quickly fell into step with the way things worked. She loves working with the rest of the staff at FirstLight and formed many bonds with her clients.
“I loved caregiving. I still get to do it from time to time,” Hankins said. “Everyone in the office is very helpful and we help each other out. Michelle [Alex] and Jim [Alex] are great people to work for. Michelle treats us with so much respect and she doesn’t get mad when things don’t go smoothly, she focuses on the needed solution.”
In the future Hankins hopes to further her education and continue working with FirstLight HomeCare for as long as she can.
“I love it here,” she said with a smile.