National Nurses Week: A Houston labor and delivery nurse learns something new every day amid coronavirus pandemic

Sarah Catalano
Sarah Catalano (Houston Methodist Willowbrook)

HOUSTON – KPRC 2 appreciates nurses and all the work they do. In honor of National Nurses Week, we are highlighting nurses who are keeping Houston healthy.

Sara Catalano is the nurse manager for labor and delivery at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital who has been in the field for 27 years.

Who inspired you to do what you do and why?

I’ve always wanted to do something that has made a difference in other’s lives, and that continues now that I am in management, the same as when I was a bedside nurse. I had a very inspirational Nursing Director who taught me that the difference you make in leadership ultimately makes a difference to patients. By caring for and supporting the frontline staff, clearing the path for them, it impacts the patient to a great extent.

What’s the biggest reason why you became a nurse and why?

I have always been drawn to anything related to pregnancy and birth. I don’t think that there is a more special time in the life of a growing family than the birth of their child. I wanted to be a part of that and to make a difference in this special time.

Have you been working with patients who have been diagnosed with coronavirus? If so, what’s the most challenging part of caring for people in this situation?

I have not been working directly with them, but I have been developing the processes for caring for pregnant mothers who are COVID+, and we have had several. There has not been much focus on how this virus effects pregnant mothers and their infants, and we have been working hard to make sure that we give them state of the art care so that we have the best outcomes.

What do you think you will remember most about the coronavirus pandemic?

I think that I will remember the uncertainty the most. This is something new and unexpected for most of us. Every day we learn more and modify our plans and processes so that our patients will have the best outcome possible. We didn’t know what to expect, or if the next week would be worse than what we were seeing on a given day.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

I really feel rewarded when my staff know that I have their back, when I can make a process easier or take a load away from them.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in the medical field?

I honestly don’t know. There has never been anything else that I’ve had a passion about – healthcare has always been it.

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