Michele Mullen said she became a respiratory therapist because she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. She said the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenging, but rewarding time in her career.
She’s been involved in intubations, assisted with tracheostomies and various other therapies to support fragile patients across different areas of the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center. She said the emotional toll can be the toughest part as many patients want to call or video chat their family, potentially for the last time.
“It is a privilege to care for others at their darkest moments and most magical times, may we always remember the passion that led us to our chosen careers and find joy even during the toughest of times,” Mullen said.
Last year, after Mullen’s grandson died, she started a nonprofit foundation Tucker’s Teddies. On Good Friday, she delivered a Tucker Teddy bear to every patient at the hospital. She said it was an inspiring day full of tears, smiles and joy for both the staff and patients.
“I received the biggest reward that day being able to see the shining smiles on faces in these dark times,” Mullen said.