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Heather Beauchamp initially did not want to become a nurse. She had an interest in business management and marketing and completed a bachelor’s degree in the field from Towson University. Yet she felt the need to serve and give back to others.

Earning an associate degree in nursing from Harford Community College and a master’s degree in nursing leadership and management from Walden University, Beauchamp has served in the nursing field for more than 15 years. Beginning as a staff nurse at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health in 2006, she has risen through the system to hold several administrative roles including director of medical staff strategic support and her current role of AVP of patient services, emergency and critical care.

What led you to go into your health care field? Was there a specific life experience?

Even though a lot of nurses in my family told me not to become a nurse, I did anyway because it allowed me to serve people in an important way. Working in critical care and emergency is particularly satisfying. I have always worked hard. I take whatever I do in life seriously and I have a strong work ethic that I got from my mom and dad and grandmother. I love what I do and I love the people I serve. There’s nothing better than helping people in such an essential lifesaving way. We keep our patients safe and comfortable and they never forget that memory of being well cared for.

  What has been the most challenging part of the pandemic for you and how have you met that challenge?

It was challenging to keep up with all the changes and I felt that the most important thing I could do as a leader was to be hands-on in training and supporting my team. Proning, turning, intubations – all of it.  I don’t ask my nurses to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself.   We’re in it together.  I was as scared as they were at first, but we needed to keep going and do our very best. Working together made us all better. I think it’s important to lead from the bedside.

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's Health Care Heroes awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.