The Truth is Powerful

The Pandemic Takes a Psychological Toll on Baltimore Healthcare Workers

—Illustration by Alicia Corman [Editor’s Note: This story was published in our May 2021 issue as part of our annual “Excellence in Nursing” package. See the full list of winners online on May 17, or pick up a copy of our May issue at your local newsstand .]

The face still haunts her. It was a busy day in the intensive care unit at Ascension Saint Agnes Medical Center, a community hospital in southwest Baltimore, and Muna Jeter stepped in to help her understaffed team of nurses transport a coronavirus sufferer. The patient looked scared and alone.

“I couldn’t get the patient’s face out of my head for days,” recalls Jeter, who generally oversees a team of 400 nurses as director of critical care and respiratory therapy at Saint Agnes. “I can’t imagine how they do this day in and day out.”

And then there are the faces of her co-workers: More than a year into the pandemic, Jeter can see the toll the experience has taken on her colleagues when they report for their shifts.

“I almost feel they’re like veterans,” Jeter says of the nurses on her team. “Some mornings when I look at their faces, it’s like they […]

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