Nominee Cites Teamwork and Confidence as Keys to Successful Outcome

Nurse Cancels Vacation to Care for Ebola Patient

Jill Morgan

Emory University Hospital

Morgan, a 29-year nursing veteran, received a career- and life-changing call last July. A staff nurse in the Medical ICU at Emory, Morgan was part of the hospital’s Serious Communicable Disease (SCD ) Unit. Initially created to help aid CDC employees in case of an accidental contamination, the SCD became activated last July for a reason that made headlines throughout the world. They received the first Ebola patient in America.

Although she was on the verge of a Mexican vacation with her husband, Morgan cancelled her plans and jumped at the opportunity to be of service. By doing so, she became the first nurse to receive Dr. Kent Brantly, the initial Ebola patient. This, along with the fact that she flew with a team to a Texas hospital to assist in their treatment of Ebola patients, led Morgan’s supervisor Pam Cosper to nominate her.

“Obviously it was a team effort and a lot of nurses were involved taking care of Ebola patients,” she explains. “So I feel like I’m just really the face of Emory’s Ebola nursing response, and that’s very flattering.”

On treating Ebola patients:

“It was quite the honor to be able to take care of these patients who were really heroes. They had sacrificed a lot to care for people who a lot of the world would prefer to forget exist. …The decision to bring these people to the United States for treatment that had never been tried before was an important one. …There was no hesitation at all from me or from the rest of the team. We knew we had the resources. We knew would could put together the team necessary. We certainly had equipment we believed in and could keep us safe. …We sort of had this attitude like ‘We’ve got this. We know what we’re doing. We can keep it inside this unit and not let any of it get anywhere.’ There was no hesitation.”