|Lieutenant Sandra Cooper|
Nurse Cooper in "Images" (season 6 Episode #9).
|Job/Role in Unit:||Nurse at the 4077th M*A*S*H|
|First appeared in:||"Images" (Season 6)|
|Last appeared in:||NA. Single appearance.|
|Appeared on/or in:||M*A*S*H|
|Played by:||Susan Blanchard|
Lieutenant Sandra Cooper is a nurse who makes a single appearance in the Season 6 episode "Images". Played by Susan Blanchard, the main plot of the episode is built around Cooper's adjustment to service in the MASH and her relationship with her superior, Maj. Margaret Houlihan.
About Nurse CooperEdit
Early in the episode, Cooper runs out on B.J. when their patient starts hemorrhaging and she gets overwhelmed by what she sees. Margaret reprimands her for this. She apologizes but asks: " Major, don't you feel anything?" Margaret responds brusquely, "What I feel, I control. That's a part of my job." She warns Cooper that if she falls apart one more time, she would be transferred out.
Able and Bigelow ask Hawkeye and B.J. to persuade Margaret to give Cooper a break. At first B.J. is not sympathetic, but Bigelow and Able say Cooper is a good nurse. Work in the MASH takes getting used to, and they just want the doctors to buy Cooper some time. They try but Margaret rejects their approach.
In Post Op, Margaret once again spots Cooper getting emotionally affected by the horrific injuries of the patients there and moves swiftly to relieve her of her duties. Cooper appeals, asking for one more week to work things out but Margaret refuses and goes to Potter to recommend that she be transferred out. She argues her case strongly with Potter: "If (Cooper) goes to pieces every time a patient moans or bleeds, she's useless to this unit." Potter however disagrees. "So long as she doesn't quit on herself, we won't either," he says. Margaret is annoyed but says she will give her a chance if Potter orders it. "Then it's an order," he responds.
In Post Op, Margaret tells Cooper that Potter has decided not to transfer her out but she warns her that Potter would soon change his mind--all it takes is for her to crack up again during an operation. "That won't happen, Major. I won't give you the satisfaction," Cooper declares. She says she is determined to be just as tough and unfeeling as Margaret is.
But shortly afterwards, Margaret finally understands what Cooper is going through when a stray dog, which Margaret has taken a liking to, is killed by a jeep. At first Margaret tries to hold back her feelings, but then she bumps into Hawkeye who sees no sense in denial. "Sooner or later this place gets to everybody." It does no good to keep one's emotion bottled in. He advises Margaret to "let it out". To Margaret's military self letting out emotions doesn't make sense: "I've got people dying all around me. You think I'd get upset because a dog gets run over? Why should I get upset about a about a little dog?" But she can't help it and breaks down in tears.
Margaret, now a little wiser, seeks out Cooper in Post Op and apologizes for being rough on her. Echoing Hawkeye, she tells her that the place gets to everybody and sooner or later people cannot help but let their feelings out. Margaret concludes by telling her: "Get back to work, just don't let it get to you." Cooper, encouraged by Margaret's understanding, promises: "I won't, Major."