BSN Alumnae Work Together During COVID-19 Response

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May 19, 2020 – Catherine Zolbrod Freeman (NHS’17) and Moira Redmond (NHS’17) have been working together to care for adult patients with COVID-19 at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Freeman and Redmond usually practice as registered nurses with pediatric patients, but have refocused their work during the pandemic.

Moira Redmond (NHS’17) and Catherine Zolbrod Freeman (NHS’17) stand in clinical attire and masks
Moira Redmond (NHS’17) and Catherine Zolbrod Freeman (NHS’17)

“During this time, my colleagues and I were asked to train to adult units so we could better help out,” Freeman said.

‘What We Do’

While the pandemic has presented new kinds of challenges to hospitals, Redmond said, focusing on the health and well-being of patients is a consistent core to the nursing profession.

“Caring for people who are sick is what we do, and the only difference now is the types of patients I’m caring for,” she said. “Working has helped keep me distracted from my emotions about the current situation. I like being able to stay busy and feel like I can be helpful during this situation.”

Freeman echoed the sentiment, adding, “I’m always happy and proud to be a nurse, especially during this time. I’m just happy to help.”

‘Power and Responsibility’

Freeman and Redmond said that lessons from their Georgetown nursing education have stayed with them during the pandemic response.

“One thing I have thought about a lot, specifically during my time navigating caring for adult patients, is how my professors at Georgetown emphasized maintaining dignity for patients in the hospital, which seems to be especially true for the older adult,” Freeman said. 

She noted, “Of course, I feel that many aspects of my education from Georgetown have helped prepare me to be a nurse, such as holistic care and cura personalis, and that has been one of my favorite parts of being a nurse.”

Redmond added that she remembers being a student during the Ebola epidemic and how she learned about emergency response efforts, particularly during a class on public health nursing.

“I think that’s partially what made this feel less like something to be feared, and more of something that we, as nurses, had both the power and responsibility to step in and help with,” Redmond said.

Staying Connected

The two Georgetown classmates said connection with colleagues and fellow Hoya nurses has been particularly helpful to them.

“I’m so grateful for my classmates,” Redmond said. “Throughout this pandemic we’ve been more in touch as a class, and it’s been so nice to have other nurses from all over the country to share our experiences with and feel more connected. I’m also grateful for the nurses I’ve been working with on the COVID unit. So many of us have floated from other areas of the hospital, and everyone has been so willing to share tips from their area of expertise that help each of us learn more during this time.” 

Freeman agreed. “I am inspired and absolutely so proud of my fellow nurses, especially those on my unit that have adapted to the new challenge of caring for adult patients,” she said. “I just love being a nurse.”