Travel Nurse Awardee Sandra Sabas Exudes Passion for Nursing
By Jennifer Larson, contributor
Congratulations to Sandra Sabas, RN, a telemetry/cardiac step-down nurse who was recently named the winner of AMN Healthcare’s 2021 Commitment to Excellence Award for Passion!
“I see the difference that Sandra makes on the people around her, and I cannot think of a more deserving nurse for this award!” said Katie McMullen, Sandra’s travel nurse recruiter at American Mobile, a company of AMN Healthcare.
Three different people nominated Sandra for this year’s award, all effusively praising her. One colleague had worked with her on assignment in San Diego and called her an exceptional nurse who deserves to be recognized.
“She goes above and beyond for every single one of her patients and cares for them like they are one of her family members,” the nominator wrote. “I do not know someone who advocates for their patients as much as Sandra does.”
Sandra, however, was absolutely shocked to learn she’d won this award. “I’m still in shock right now,” she said. “I don’t quite believe it.” But she quickly added, “It just feels nice to be seen and appreciated.”
Where the passion comes from
Passion for nursing comes naturally to Sandra.
As a child growing up in Texas, she was inspired by her mother, a surgical nurse. Her mother was the one who was calm in a crisis, ready to handle a cut or a fever. “That’s what I saw her doing as a nurse, and I decided that I wanted to provide that same comfort for others,” Sandra said.
As an adult, she is driven by both a fascination with science and a commitment to her patients. She loves seeing how the body functions and learning about all the medical interventions that can help a person heal. And she cares deeply about the people who need these interventions to help them.
Her mom once gently told her, “You can’t be a hero and save everybody.” No doubt, it was meant to reassure her that some things are beyond a nurse’s control, that some people cannot recover from injuries or disease, and that she would have to keep moving to help the next person.
“But I told her, I can try. One person at a time,” said Sandra. “I feel like, in my nursing career, I make a difference every time I care for someone or provide education as to what changes they’re going through and how they can move forward, living a healthier life with these new adaptations.”
She pictures herself in the position of her patients and asks how she would want to be treated. Then she springs into action, to be her patients’ passionate advocate.
“I want them to feel comfortable and confident that we’re here to do everything, to do the best we can for their wellness,” she said.
A passion for traveling, too
Before Sandra started her first job out of nursing school, she planned a trip for herself. She traveled to Virginia and New York. “That just goes to show how traveling was definitely a part of my life before travel nursing as a career,” she explained.
It also explains why travel nursing was so appealing to her; it combined the opportunity to travel and live in new places–like Southern California, which topped her list–with the opportunity to develop her skills as a nurse.
In fact, Sandra was so excited to get a travel nursing job in Southern California that when her first position fell through when the pandemic struck, she pivoted and landed another assignment close by so she didn’t have to leave her rental apartment. She eventually took another job in Little Rock, Arkansas, but she’s still California dreaming. As she prepared to depart The Golden State, she told her coworkers that she’d be back.
“I actually plan to go back there after this contract is over,” she said. “All my furniture is waiting for me in storage in San Diego.”
Undoubtedly, Sandra will continue to make her mark. Her recruiter, Katie, said she loves how Sandra manages to be passionate, considerate and professional—all of which will serve her well throughout her career.
“I am so proud to work with her,” she said. “It’s nurses like Sandra that inspire me every day and it’s the reason I love my job.”
American Mobile is inspired by and grateful for all of our dedicated travel nurses, and we would like to wish everyone a Happy Nurses Month. Thank you for all you do!
American Mobile is seeking talented, passionate nurses for travel assignments across the U.S.