Buckeyes on the Frontlines

Former field hockey All-Region selection is an ER/trauma nurse in Illinois

by Mike Basford

A two-time captain during her playing days as a member of Ohio State’s field hockey team, Fran Dorando Strong is still finding ways to help people after her athletic career has ended. Today, she’s doing it as an emergency room/trauma nurse in Geneva, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

Dorando Strong is the fourth former Ohio State student-athlete who shared experiences this summer on what it’s like to be working on the front lines during this global COVID-19 pandemic, and how her time as a Buckeye helped prepare her.

How did Ohio State and athletics prepare you for what you are dealing with?

“I knew being an athlete has always prepared me for the nursing and medical fields. Personally, it takes strength, flexibility, creativity, a mental toughness, and a passion to do what we do every day but you have to know how to lead and be a team player and that resonates during this time more than ever in health care.”

What has this pandemic been like for you?

“It’s been challenging and even scary at times knowing that every day we are putting ourselves potentially in harms way. However, I believe all of us who work in an emergency department love the environment and the challenges it presents. The pandemic has caused us to change our own practices in many different ways. We’ve had to constantly up our game in delivering excellent compassionate care while keeping up with ever changing treatment recommendations and best practices. Yet through all of this, I wouldn’t change what I do for a living!”

What encouraging words would you say to others on the front lines?

“THANK YOU! Keep doing what you’re doing. Take time for and care of yourself – something a lot of us are not good at doing because we’re always caring for others.”

How can we help?

“Practice social distancing. Take care of each other and we will get through this.”

Ohio State Buckeyes

Fran Dorando Strong – Back as a Buckeye

Fran Dorando Strong graduated from Ohio State is 1994 with her degree in nursing and was a four-year letterwinner for the Buckeyes in field hockey from 1990-93. A team captain in 1992 and 1993, Dorando Strong was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in those seasons and capped her senior year by being selected to the North-South Senior All-Star Game. She is one of just eight players to earn All-Region honors three time in her career, garnering second team All-West Region accolades by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association in 1991, 1992 and 1993.


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