Blog
May 18
Blog: Celebrating Nurses

Each year during National Nurses Month, we acknowledge the invaluable contributions of nurses across the country. This year in particular, we pay tribute to the remarkable spirit of all our nurses at Saratoga Hospital—and thank them for bolstering our community in this time of crisis.

In a recent conversation with a reporter from The Daily Gazette, Saratoga Hospital nurses shared their experiences on the front lines of the worst public health emergency in recent history. Some of the most touching stories were of the acts of kindness and compassion that are typical of Saratoga Hospital nurses but extraordinary nonetheless.

Our nurses were keenly aware of COVID-19's medical and emotional toll on patients. From behind the impersonal barrier of personal protective equipment (PPE), nurses made an extra effort to connect with their patients. In between the checking of vitals and other care-related tasks, nurses made a point to ask about patients' families, favorite TV shows, and likes and dislikes. 

Often, our nurses took it a step further.

"Some of our nurses would finish a shift, and then return to the unit to sit with patients and keep them company. It never surprised me, because that's just the kind of nurses we have here—but it always inspired me," said Terry Delong, director of two of our medical surgical units. She also served as interim chief nursing officer during the height of the pandemic.

In one unit, where PPE was not required but visitors were still not permitted, nurses purchased a small birthday cake for a patient and World War II veteran who was celebrating his 100th birthday.

Nurses took care of one another, as well. They worked shifts for each other and coordinated schedules to help colleagues who needed time off to care for their children. They encouraged each other during difficult days and shared successes to boost morale. And they celebrated each time a COVID-19 patient was discharged home.

How did they manage it all?

Kelly Jo Jarosz, clinical coordinator on the hospital's A3 medical-surgical unit, summed it up this way: "Nurses are resilient, and that's one of the biggest things people have seen during the pandemic. We're up to these challenges while still keeping patient care at the forefront."

Nurses also play an important role in how care is delivered, especially when every day brings a better understanding of how to treat a disease that had never been seen before. Nursing leaders and senior management tapped our nurses' experiences to inform care, review policies and procedures, and create the best possible environment for patients and staff alike.

"From the top down, the collaborative efforts that have happened at the hospital since the pandemic began are nothing short of a miracle," Kelly Jo Jarosz said. "Everyone listens to each other, and it makes me proud to be a nurse at Saratoga Hospital. ... It's a privilege to be in healthcare during this time and work alongside nurses who have been selfless in their commitment to come to work every day and take care of their patients." 

We at Saratoga Hospital couldn't agree more. During National Nurses Month, and every month, we have the greatest respect and appreciation for our fantastic nursing team and are incredibly proud to serve this community alongside them. 

Please visit our website to learn more about professional nursing at Saratoga Hospital. You can read The Daily Gazette article in its entirety here.


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