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Sarah M.

AWESOME OCCUPATION

Pediatric Navy Nurse

FAVORITE SCRUBS

Rafaela™/Zamora™

FAVORITE COLOR

Mauve

Q: What's something being a woman has enabled or empowered you to do?

Q: What's something being a woman has enabled or empowered you to do?

A: It gives me perspective. Being a woman has allowed me to be able to show up for my patients in a way that maybe my male counterparts can’t. And that's not to say that we're better than them. It's just a different perspective.

Q: Can you tell us about yourselves?

A: I’m Sarah, a pediatric registered nurse and a family nurse practitioner student from San Diego. I graduated from Loyola University Chicago, and I love what I do. I love caring for kids, because they're just so extremely resilient.

Q: Can you describe your relationship with medicine in one word?

A: Human, because you've had the lowest lows and the highest of highs, but at the end of the day, it’s perfectly imperfect.

Q: Why did you fall in love with medicine?

A: There’s a quote by Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I think that embodies medicine and nursing in every aspect. That’s why I love nursing.

Q: Nursing is a female-dominated field, but there's plenty of challenges that women face every day. What do you think is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a woman in healthcare?

A: Definitely the stigma that comes with being a woman and a female professional. Growing up, the most classic Halloween costume was the sexy nurse. I’m trying to break that stigma of nursing and shed light on what it truly is — something that's meaningful and impactful. Being sexualized is difficult, so the challenge is breaking those barriers and that perception that nurses are just a Halloween costume. Nurses are dynamic, incredibly smart and should be taken seriously.

Q: What’s the hardest part of your day?

A: Being a witness to people suffering. You really experience that first hand and have that front row seat to someone else's worst or weakest day. It’s hard to check everything that you know at the door and just help them. I work with a lot of pediatric oncology patients — kids who have cancer — and that's difficult, because you're not only just giving high risk chemotherapy to these children and drawing labs. Nursing is much more than just caring for one person. You're caring for the whole family.

Q: What's something being a woman has enabled or empowered you to do?

A: It gives me perspective. Being a woman has allowed me to be able to show up for my patients in a way that maybe my male counterparts can’t. And that's not to say that we're better than them. It's just a different perspective. I can connect with my female patients, and as a woman, I know what girls have gone or are going through. My being a woman is another way that I can show up for them. I feel like I have a responsibility to help younger women and help women feel empowered to show up as their best selves. We rise by lifting others. I say that all the time. I truly believe that.

Q: How do you balance your nursing career with life?

A: It really comes down to setting boundaries and putting yourself first. I schedule out me-time, self care time and I'm okay saying “no.” My friends and family know that sometimes I just need time by myself. I'm naturally an introvert, which surprises most people because I get along and connect so well with everyone. But I refuel when I'm by myself. So I make sure that I have that time, and that allows me to refill my cup. And when I do show up to work, I can be my best self for my patients and give them the best version of me.

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