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Samantha Sapienti, Endicott graduate nursingEndicott College School of Nursing graduate students are on the front lines, fighting this global pandemic and providing quality patient care under less than ideal circumstances. They are also working full-time—really beyond full-time, as many in the medical community are called to do now—while earning a master’s degree. This is a lot to juggle. School of Nursing Dean Nancy Meedzan calls these graduate students, “the heroes amongst us.” Indeed, they are.

One such hero is Samantha Sapienti, who is earning her master’s in Endicott’s family nurse practitioner program. She sent us this moving and honest report from the field:

“I am a part-time graduate student currently and I am an ICU nurse at [a Merrimack Valley hospital]. To say I have been challenged in an already challenging job would be an understatement. Where I see death, suffering, panic, and emergencies for a living without flinching, this has surely topped that.

“While my hospital is definitely making every effort to replenish supplies, we are realistically working with a fraction of what we need. Our state mandated patient-to-nurse ratios have gone out the window and some ICU nurses have four patients on life support each. Because of this, the care for some patients is frequently less than optimal but it is certainly better than it could be.

“I am inspired by the teamwork in my hospital, and instead of saying I’ve never seen anything like this virus (which is true), I want to say I’ve never seen anything like the outpouring of support and cohesion amongst each other, and so many countless outside sources.

“It’s unfortunate that a pandemic is required for the public to realize how incredible healthcare workers are. I’m proud of my team; I’m proud of myself; and even though we are terrified inside, we are trying to be brave for those who can’t—and holding on as tightly as possible until this is over.”