Nurse Asks the Tough Questions

Millicent MacGregor divides her time between palliative care research and the bone marrow transplant clinic at IU Health.

Her interest in nursing goes back to when she was about the age of three. Millicent MacGregor remembers spending time with her grandfather who was sick with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Even at a young age, she liked to think she was taking care of her grandpa.

Her father was in the Air Force and her mom worked in a hospital cafeteria. When she became a nurse 16 years ago, MacGregor says she came into her career naturally.  She obtained her associate’s degree and is now working on her bachelor’s degree at IUPUI.

She first joined IU Health working in ER at IU West. After five years she began working in oncology.

“I didn’t choose oncology; oncology chose me,” said MacGregor. She eventually began working in research and now combines both research and oncology patient care. “We do research trials that help IU Health patients manage different symptoms through oncology. For instance, there is a clinical trial that we’re getting ready to start enrolling patients in that involves vibration to help lessen neuropathy induced by chemotherapy.”

What does she like best about her career?

“I love coming alongside patients and being part of their journey,” said MacGregor. “I know I can personally make or break a patient’s day by the way I treat them. It’s my goal to make their day a little easier. I can’t fix their diagnosis or what chemotherapy they get but maybe I can lessen their burden – whatever that is. Something physical brought them to the hospital but they are more than that – they are spiritual and emotional beings.”

What makes MacGregor a good nurse?

“I think what I hear from my patients is I give compassionate care and I’m willing to ask the hard questions – the questions that they are thinking,” said MacGregor. “I have the ability to ask ‘So tell me how you are really doing.’ There’s a transparency I’m able to pull out of them and they feel like they are being listened to.”

More about MacGregor:

  • She and her husband Bill, a captain and paramedic with Decatur Township Fire Department, will be married 25 years in April.
  • She has three children  – Leanza, 24; Laurel Mann 21 (married to their “bonus son, RT, 21), Isaac, 19; and a stepdaughter Shannon Glaski; and two step grandchildren.
  • She loves to cook, and she and her husband are big Yankees baseball fans and have set a goal to watch a game in every major baseball stadium.
  • MacGregor and her husband are also board members of the SON Foundation, an organization that provides part-time housing for oncology patients and their families.
  • They are also involved in marriage ministry at their church – Connection Point Christian Church in Brownsburg.

— By T.J. Banes, Journalist, IU Health.
   Reach Banes via email