Hui-wen Sato, M.P.H. ’00, M.S. ’10 was one of the speakers at TEDxPasadenaWomen’s 2017 RISE event, delivering a talk Sep. 30 at the Huntington Library titled “How Grief Can Enable Nurses to Endure.”
Sato graduated from UCLA’s M.P.H. program in 2000 with a focus on Community Health. Her work at the UCLA Borun Center for Gerontological Research inspired her to return to school to become a bedside nurse; she received her M.S. from the School of Nursing in 2010. In her career as a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurse, she found that she and her coworkers were constantly wrestling with issues of moral distress, difficult end-of-life situations, and work-related grief and trauma. She began writing for her unit’s quarterly newsletter and also started her own blog as a way of finding some catharsis as well as a form of sharing with friends and family the kinds of things she deals with at work. The response to her writings kindled her vision to grow her voice for nurses, and she began to pursue opportunities for publication with the American Journal of Nursing (AJN), which published her essay, “Intimate Strangers,” in August. She is also now a regular contributor to their blog.
“All of my writing has been around the inner heart experiences of nurses that we rarely talk about, seeking to bring to light what we really deal with on a deeper level beyond busy days and tight staffing,” Sato said.
Sato was the only female healthcare professional – and the only nurse – to speak at the TEDx event, and also the only speaker who had not been explicitly invited to apply. “It was absolutely amazing to have been given this platform to speak for nurses, and I felt so proud to represent my profession, my unit, my hospital, and UCLA this way. I am now preparing for additional speaking opportunities that have been given to me as a result of my writing and my TEDx Talk, including speaking at UCLA’s AACN Leadership Symposium in February 2018.
“My education and work experiences at UCLA have opened up doors for me that I never in my life could have imagined. I am so proud to be a Bruin, and so grateful for all that UCLA has given me to live out such amazing dreams and experiences!”