Scrub in

Scrub In

"Scrub In" is a wellbeing-related podcast hosted by MedStar Health’s Crystal Morales, a registered nurse with a background in critical care, patient safety, and high reliability, who is now the director of nursing wellbeing at MedStar Health.

Crystal talks with healthcare professionals with the goal of creating a community where we share information, ideas, and true insights that either inspire, inform…or possibly entertain!

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Episode 11, What's next for nursing?

As Nurses Week approaches, there is a lot of attention on the nation’s 4 million nurses and what the future holds for a profession that’s spent more than two years at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, Crystal talks with MedStar Health Chief Nursing Officer Susan Eckert, who took over leadership of the system’s more than 8,000 nurses just six months before the pandemic started. Hear her perspective on what the global crisis changed , why nursing continues to be a highly desired career, and how she supports – and thanks – nurses everywhere.

Episode 10, Helping Your Kids Through the Pandemic

We’ve talked a lot about the impact that the pandemic has had on healthcare providers, but many of us are equally impacted by how the pandemic is affecting our children. Join me as I sit down with MedStar Health experts Dr. Michael Brachfeld and Dr. Michelle Sobon to discuss what stress and anxiety looks like in children and adolescents during the pandemic and strategies we can use to help them cope. 

Helpful resources for parents recommended in the podcast:

Breaking Free of Childhood Anxiety and OCD,” by Dr. Eli Lebowitz (2020); (CDC Website “Families and COVID-19”) (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) (pandemic advice from the Child Mind Institute: (The American Psychological Association)

Episode 9, Getting Centered on Wellbeing

MedStar Health has launched a new MedStar Health Center for Wellbeing to support the wholistic wellbeing needs of physicians, nurses, therapists and others who work in the health care system. Scrub In host Crystal Morales, one of the leaders of this new Center, talks with Dr. Dan Marchalik, the executive director of the Center, about what the Center provides to everyone who works at MedStar Health and what it means for health and wellness now and in the future. Hear why this isn’t just a response to the COVID crisis , but a long-term effort to change the way health care workers approach their own health – and the health of their colleagues -- while caring for others.

Episode 8, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

For those with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), the darkness of winter is no laughing matter. The good news: there are many effective treatments, and some preventive steps too. Crystal discusses SAD with Dr. Elias Shaya, chair of psychiatry at MedStar Health and an expert on the disorder that gets really serious for some individuals right about this time of year. One of his suggestions that anyone can use: develop a “fun menu” of activities, outings, and distractions that help you find something to do when you’re looking for an uplifting diversion. For further information on Seasonal Affective Disorder, Dr. Shaya recommends these websites:

Episode 7, Build Your Resilience with Four Tools (Part II)

MedStar Health Resilience Coach Danni Davis, LCSW-C, C-CSOTS, returns to Scrub In with a second episode on resilience. In this segment, Danni gives four simple tools anyone can use to help build and nurture their resilience. The good news: resilience isn’t just something you are born with! Danni explains how a little focus and a little practice can help anyone strengthen their resilience, making it easier as you respond to life’s challenges and changes.

Episode 6, What is Resilience? (Part I)

Everyone’s talking about resilience….but what is it? Are you born with it? How do you get it? Does it go away? MedStar Health Regional Resilience Coach Danni Davis, LCSW-C, C-CSOTS, breaks down resilience, how we develop it, why we need it…and why it’s so important right now. Part I of a two-part interview….next up: Danni presents Resilience Tools.

Episode 5, Stress First Aid

Stress First Aid is a peer to peer program for recognizing levels of stress and helping each other know when to seek support for extreme stress. Originally developed for the military, it has now been adapted for healthcare settings to help clinicians recognize the stress that they are experiencing. Hear MedStar Health psychologist Heather Hartman-Hall explain Stress First Aid and explore some of the ways it can be used to heal by those who work in healthcare. MedStar Health associates- for more information, and to sign up for Stress First Aid training, go to

Episode 4, COVID-19 and Mental Health

COVID-19 has us facing new challenges. This can create stress and fear and can have a profound impact on our overall mental health. Join us as we openly discuss mental health and wellness.

Episode 3, PRIDE in Nursing

It’s pride month! Join me and my nursing colleagues, who proudly represent the LGBTQ community, as we discuss the LGBTQ world as it relates to healthcare inside and outside the walls of MedStar Health.

Episode 2, Gender marked professions and the male nurse

Crystal sits down with Mike Manning, Andrew Riddle, and Robb Hawthorne, who all currently serve in nursing leadership roles at MedStar Health to discuss gender marked professions and the impact stereotypes have on being a “male” nurse.

Episode 1, Beyond Burnout: Reflections a year into a pandemic

Crystal sits down with Rachel Watkins, RN, of MedStar Washington Hospital Center and currently serves as the Nursing Director of 2 units, 1E front and 4C. These units have treated COVID-19 patients since the start of the pandemic, so Rachel and her team have been on the front lines throughout this entire pandemic.