Inspiring Stories

Methodist Emergency Team Leader Honored for Compassionate Staff and Patient Care

Published: Jan. 3, 2022

It was a moment that Methodist Women’s Hospital emergency core nurse Amy Shostak, BSN, RN, will never forget.

“I was having just an off week,” she said. “I had family stuff going on, I was putting in a lot of overtime, the emergency department was full, and difficult cases kept coming in. Just a really hard week.”

That’s when her supervisor, Jody Morris, MSN, RN-BC, CEN, emergency team leader at Methodist Women’s Hospital, pulled Shostak into her office.

“She could tell something was off,” Shostak said. “She basically just sat me down and said, ‘Tell me what’s actually going on. You don’t have to sugarcoat anything – be real.’ I started crying. She gave me a hug and said, ‘I’m taking the rest of your shift. You go home and get a little extra down time.’”

Putting Employees and Patients First

That wasn’t the last time Morris filled in for Shostak. Months later, on Halloween, Morris covered another part of Shostak’s shift so she could take her two young kids trick-or-treating.

“I mean, who does that?!” Shostak said.

According to Morris, she’ll always do that. Because being a leader in health care, she said, is just as much about taking care of your employees as it is your patients.

“It’s all about understanding that work isn’t everything,” Morris said. “Especially right now. A lot of people have spouses who’ve lost their jobs – they’re financially struggling. And if you don’t sit down and talk with them, you don’t learn those types of things. You don’t learn about the areas in which you might be able to help. When you’re happy at work, it kind of spills over into your personal life. And when you’re happy at home, it spills into your work life. So, if I can do a small thing to make their personal or professional lives a little better, why not?”

“No Job Too Big or Too Small”

Morris, who began her nursing career in critical care at Methodist Hospital in 2000, said patient care is still in her blood.

“Wherever I’m needed is where I go,” she said. “If that means checking on a COVID patient, giving meds to another patient or working on patient call-backs, I’m there.”

A former hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy, Morris is convinced that an all-hands-on-deck approach is the only approach in health care – especially in emergency medicine.

“There is no job too big or too small for anyone,” she said. “We all pitch in during times of crisis.”

And even amid the current COVID-19 crisis, Morris maintains a positive attitude.

Jody Morris
Jody Morris, Methodist Women's Hospital emergency team leader

“Everywhere you look in health care, there’s a daily obstacle you need to overcome,” Shostak said. “It’s so easy to get bogged down with the numbers and how sick people are. It’s really easy for your attitude to circle the drain and go down with it. So having somebody who’s always pointing out the good things and encouraging you is huge.”

With morale being a priority for Morris, she’s also big on gratitude.

“People will work harder for you if they feel they’re appreciated,” Morris said.

“I’ve worked for several other hospitals, and I can say without any hesitation that she is just the best nurse leader that I’ve ever had,” Shostak said after recently nominating Morris for The DAISY Nurse Leader Award – a national honor that recognizes nursing professionals for creating a compassionate environment for patients and staff.

Humbled by the award, Morris said her success is nothing short of a testament to the efforts of everyone she leads.

“It takes a whole team that comes together to take care of patients,” she said. “And mine is so cohesive. So resilient. My team is the reason I enjoy coming to work to do the job I’m supposed to do.”

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About the Author

Jessica Gill, the External Communications Manager for Methodist Health System, is a former television news anchor and journalist. She has a passion for story-telling and illustrating Methodist’s Meaning of Care.

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