In high school, Malcolm wrote a paper on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), informed by her knowledge of a family member who had the disease. Now, as an acute care nurse practitioner, Malcolm works with ALS patients every day. She serves as a sub-investigator on ALS clinical research studies, works to plan individualized treatments, and approaches care with a “patient first” mentality.
On navigating difficult conversations: “The whole process [to test for ALS] can be really frustrating and confusing for the patient. A lot of what I do is to sit them down and figure out what they know and what they understood from their conversation with our physician colleagues. I try to put that together in a way that they can understand and feel comfortable with. When a patient, or someone in their family, says, ‘This makes more sense now,’ that’s really rewarding.”
On her nursing philosophy: “For someone with ALS, the patient and their family are the experts on what they need. I’m the expert on figuring out how to help in a way that is safe, makes sense, and is something that we can do.”