A lifetime of care: Looking back with nurse Donna Morash
On August 30, Donna Morash, a registered nurse in the Boston Children’s Hospital Advanced Fetal Care Center (AFCC), will retire after 46 years of service to families. We asked her to share some of her favorite memories from her career at Boston Children’s.
Why did you originally choose to work at Boston Children’s?
I was a student at New England Baptist School of Nursing and trained at Boston Children’s. I loved working in general surgery and cardiology and had always hoped to work with infants. Luckily, in 1973 I was hired as a new grad to work on the general surgery 40-bed unit, which included ICU patients, with infants and children at the time. It was a great way to begin my career at Boston Children’s — so much to learn there!
What inspired you to remain here throughout your career?
I have been fortunate to have many different experiences as a nurse here. I have grown from a young novice nurse to an expert with the help of many great mentors and leaders over these years.
What have you loved most about your job?
Helping families and children during very stressful times and building a trusting relationship with them. I also continue to learn something new every day — new diagnoses, new treatments, improved outcomes. Each patient and family is unique, with their own needs.
What have been the most difficult or challenging parts of your job?
The emotional strain and the sadness I feel for families as they learn about a new diagnosis or suffer a fetal or neonatal loss.
What are some of your favorite memories from working with parents and families over the years?
Building long term relationships with families, especially meeting them prenatally and following the child in our clinic after they are discharged home. I also love getting updates from parents with photos of birthdays, first day of school, etc. In the AFCC, patients often stop by to say ‘hi’ when they are in the hospital for follow-up appointments. It’s so great to see them grow.
What are some of the biggest or most memorable changes you’ve seen at Boston Children’s during your career?
Technology has changed so much since I started (computerized records, imaging technology, ECMO technology, and fetal surgery for example). Many babies did not survive and now routinely do. There’s been amazing progress in pediatrics, but especially at Boston Children’s.
How has the way you deliver patient care evolved over the years?
Moving from inpatient care for most of my career to outpatient care was a big change for me. I felt like a new nurse in many ways as I learned about fetal diagnosis and embryology. I was so fortunate every day to work so closely with amazing colleagues who taught me so much.
What’s something about you that might surprise us?
My ancestors came here on the Mayflower.
What do you have planned for your retirement?
I am looking forward to moving to our new home near my family and the beach and having more time to travel, read, and paint.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
It’s very hard to leave Boston Children’s — it has been such a part of me, with so many wonderful patients, families, colleagues, and memories. I will cherish them all!
Learn about the Advanced Fetal Care Center.
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