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Celebrating Sarah Walder: A Beacon of Compassion in the NICU


Sarah Walder, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at Aspirus Wausau Hospital

In the realm of health care, few callings are as noble as that of a nurse. Their unwavering dedication, empathy, and commitment to healing make them the backbone of medical care. Sarah Walder, a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at Aspirus Wausau Hospital (AWH), stands as a shining example of this noble profession. As we celebrate American Medical Association’s Women in Medicine Month, we have the privilege to spotlight her remarkable journey and the immeasurable impact she has made in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).


Sarah's journey into nursing was paved with a burning desire to make a difference in the lives of others. "I became a nurse because I knew I wanted to take care of people. I knew I wanted to make a difference," she shares, radiating the passion that fuels her every day. However, it was a personal experience that led her to specialize in the NICU and solidify her commitment.


The pivotal moment that changed her trajectory was the birth of her oldest daughter, who was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia. Witnessing her child's struggle and the crucial care she received in the NICU in Milwaukee not only strengthened Sarah's resolve but also planted the seeds for her to become a beacon of hope for families facing similar challenges.


The heart of Sarah's work lies in the NICU, where she tirelessly cares for the tiniest of patients. "The best part of my job is probably just taking care of a really sick baby and then seeing them go home when everything's all done," she reflects with a warm smile. Her own experience as a mother of a NICU baby gives her a unique perspective, enabling her to connect with parents in profound ways. She understands the rollercoaster of emotions, the hopes and fears, that accompany NICU parents' journeys.


Amid the tender moments of triumph, there are also heart-wrenching challenges. Sarah shares that one of the most difficult aspects is witnessing parents unable to take their babies home immediately. Yet, through her compassion and unwavering support, she guides them through the uncertainty, offering solace and understanding in their most vulnerable moments. The joy of seeing a child thrive and finally go home stands as a testament to her dedication.


For those who aspire to tread the noble path of medicine, Sarah offers sage advice: "Never give up, keep trying, keep moving forward." Her journey exemplifies resilience and determination in the face of challenges. Beyond the scrubs and stethoscope, she believes that being a neonatal nurse practitioner is an intrinsic part of who she is, shaping her identity and guiding her purpose.


“Being a neonatal nurse is who I am, not just what I do,” says Sarah.


As we celebrate Women in Medicine Month, let us applaud Sarah Walder for her compassion, dedication, and the profound impact she brings to the lives she touches. Her journey, marked by personal experience and an unyielding commitment to her profession, embodies the spirit of women in medicine who inspire and elevate the world of healthcare.



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