WEST MONROE, La. — March is International Women’s Month, and to celebrate, we will be sharing the stories of remarkable women throughout the Arklamiss.

Meet Mikaela Copeland. Mikaela was born in Monroe and is a graduate of both St. Frederick’s and ULM. She is also one of the thousands of healthcare workers on the front line of the pandemic.

“I work in the ICU at Glenwood. We have been busy these last couple of months thanks to this pandemic, but I love it. I wouldn’t change a thing,” said Mikaela. “Every day is different. You never know what you’re going to walk into. Some days it’ll be a little more calm and your patients will be a little more stable, and then the next day you’ll walk in and it’ll be like a tornado’s gone off.”

It’s a career Mikaela describes as truly a passion.

From childhood, she didn’t have to look far for inspiration. Following in the footsteps of her mother to pursue her dream of being a nurse, providing care and a human connection. Bonding with dozens of patients over the years, Mikaela said this about one experience pre-pandemic.

“We were trying to take her off the ventilator. We were trying to extubate her. So I was sitting there holding her hands saying ‘you can do this, you can do this’. We got her off the vent, she was breathing,” said Mikaela. “We still to this day communicate. We’re friends on Facebook and you know we keep up with each other’s lives.”

Mikaela has now spent the past 4 years as an RN, discovering where her calling was a perfect fit. After leaving a position with an outpatient clinic, she moved to Glenwood but nothing could have prepared her for what happened after she arrived.

She said, “God called me back to the intensive care unit and lo and behold, it was right before the pandemic and working with these COVID patients has truly been life changing. We’ve been one-on-one with these people. We’re their family, we’re their friends. We are their support system and we’re their health care workers.”

Carrying all of it, 12 hours a day, with stride. It’s an undertaking Mikaela knows she couldn’t do alone.

“I don’t feel remarkable,” Mikaela said. “I feel like I’m doing what I was called to do, along with every other health care worker out there. Every nurse that I work alongside with has fought this fight with me. You know we are all remarkable.”