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Chicago Med's Marlyne Barrett Actually Has A Nursing Degree

During her eight-year run on NBC's reliably popular "Chicago Med," part of the One Chicago universe, Marlyne Barrett's head charge nurse Maggie Lockwood has earned her stripes as the major general at the helm of Gaffney Chicago Medical Center's Emergency Department. Orchestrating the daily patient flow and other clinical care activities in the hectic, high-stress E.D., Nurse Lockwood combines her long years of hospital experience with a keen sense of organization. In episode after episode, Nurse Lockwood strives to keep the atmosphere as calm as possible while ensuring that things move along at a brisk and, when necessary, life-saving pace. And while her approach to the job could accurately be described as no-nonsense, she also brings more than a bit of compassion to her supervisory role for the patients in her care and the doctors and nurses treating them.

As a show that prides itself on only using documented illness and injury cases to base its storylines on, "Chicago Med" stars train alongside doctors on the intricacies of their characters' medical professions. Indeed, it's pretty commonplace for actors to regularly need to brush up on their medical chops in prepping for a specific episode or scene. But Barrett's real-world background enables her to imbue Nurse Maggie Lockwood with the attitude that says, "Relax. I really do know the difference between epinephrine and atropine."

Barrett came to Chicago Med ready for medically-accurate action

As Marlyne Barrett revealed in an interview with Edge Magazine, she not only arrived on the set of "Chicago Med" with a nursing degree but also comes from a family steeped in the healthcare profession. As for why she chose to pursue nursing earlier in her life, the actress said, "It was a promise I made to my parents. My father worked for Siemens as a medical engineer. And we have cousins who are doctors and nurses. So it's a family thing."

But Barrett also feels that certain aspects of nursing go beyond the technical, medical training involved in earning her degree. Speaking with UpFrontNY.com, she explained, " The main thing to always remember is that nursing care is about people. So, I think in that capacity it's a love that I've always had for people; [in that respect] I think nursing and acting have a lot of that in common." And while her overall approach to playing a nurse is solidly based on experience, she notes in the same article that her nursing courses, which she took in Canada, were in a language other than English. "My nursing degree was done in French," Barrett said, "So a lot of the medical terminology I just don't understand in English."