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Sarah Morgan has been a registered nurse for 14 years. She now serves as a clinical specialist at Frederick Health Hospital working in a leadership role on the very same unit where she started as a new nurse. Her job allows her to interact with patients, their families, and provide mentorship to new graduate nurses.

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

Prior to nursing school, I took a job with a community-based assisted living company that provided in-home care to individuals with developmental and intellectual delays. Without any prior experience providing care or managing the medical necessities, I embraced the role and felt an intense feeling of gratification from the work. I recognized qualities within myself that I didn’t know existed; empathy, compassion and patience. While I was with the company, I pursued completion of the academic prerequisites and entered the nursing program.

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

The biggest challenge with the pandemic has definitely been the emotional stress. The psychological impact of isolation, not only in the workplace, but also in our personal lives, made it hard to leave the stress of the environment behind at the end of a long day. The change in care delivery, and seemingly blurred lines of social and political influence only compounded the despair we were all coping with. My unit supported a new population of patients, as we transitioned from post-operative and chronic condition management, to medically treating an entire unit of COVID 19 patients. The personal protective equipment, process changes and clinical management of these patients were new for all of us. As a leader, I did what I could to educate the staff and ensure safety. As a team, we relied on each other, increased our communication, and did what we could to emotionally recharge in our free time

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.