Rethinking roles: How one nurse is helping in different ways

Megan Krapfl, RN, often spends much of her day on the phone with patients and their parents discussing treatment plans and hospital visits in order to ensure her patients’ safety.

“We see kids with low vision, progressive vision loss, and genetic conditions, so it’s nerve-racking for a lot of parents to try and decide if they should delay their child’s visit. I just try to be the person who can make them feel a little more comfortable,” says Krapfl, who works in the Department of Ophthalmology and with the Pediatric Inherited Eye Disease Program.

Megan Krapfl, RN

Ensuring safety

With two children and a baby at home, Krapfl fully recognizes the apprehension that many parents have about bringing their children to the hospital for appointments. While focusing her energy on providing a listening ear to her patients’ concerns, Krapfl has been providing helpful guidance in evaluating the next steps in their care.

“I work very closely with the physician that sees my patients,” says Krapfl. “She creates treatment plans for each of them. Then I call to discuss it, triage their symptoms, and see how they’re doing to evaluate how to move forward.”

Krapfl believes UI Hospitals & Clinics has the preventative measures—such as face shields and face masks, social distancing reminders, and entry screenings—necessary to ensure the safety of patients. While expanded telemedicine options are available, Krapfl emphasizes to her patients that our organization takes safety seriously.


Along with her work in Ophthalmology, Krapfl has been cross-trained in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU).

Earlier this year, she received a broadcast from the Department of Nursing, saying they would soon begin cross-training nurses in case of a surge. She instantly knew she wanted to help out. 

“I emailed them back saying that I had worked in the CVICU previously, and that if they needed nurses to be re-trained there, I’d be happy to volunteer,” says Krapfl. 

While she hasn’t officially been redeployed, Krapfl stands at the ready to step-in if needed.

“They have me on a ghost schedule,” she says. “I’m scheduled for certain days, so if we were to see a surge of patients, it would activate the surge plan, and I’d be deployed in the CVICU, or wherever they need me.”

Regarding her potential redeployment, Krapfl emphasized how cross-training can be personally and professionally enriching, and there are so many health care staff that deserve to be in the spotlight for their work right now.

“It’s really inspiring to see the way everyone continues to move forward,” she says.