There must be something in the water! Sixteen intensive nurses at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona, are pregnant.
It’s an experience that has brought them closer together. “This isn’t an easy job to have when you’re pregnant and not feeling well all the time,” nurse Ashley Atkins told local news station KPHO-TV on Friday, August 17. “So it’s nice to share stories and have that support, and then you find out how supportive your coworkers are of you, and your management team, so it’s been a good experience.”
The women, who indulge their cravings at the cafeteria, revealed at a Friday press conference that pickles and olives were recently added to the menu just for them. As for the timing of their babies, nurse Jolene Garrow teased, “We all formulated this plan to have the holidays off!”
Garrow went on to praise her non-pregnant colleagues for stepping in and caring for patients that are suffering from conditions that are potentially dangerous for expectant women such as tuberculosis or shingles.
“There are certain disease processes that we don’t want the nurses to be exposed to. Certain infections,” said Heather Francis, a nursing director at the hospital, said at the press conference. “Also, chemotherapy drugs can be very toxic to the fetus.”
The women had no idea how many of them were pregnant until a group Facebook chat was created. Every day it seemed, someone new was getting added. Quipped Garrow: “One after another after another!”
All the women are due between September and February and each has been gifted a onesie that reads “Relax! My mom is a Banner nurse!” (This week they’ll snap up more swag at a group baby shower.)
Hospital officials revealed at the press conference that they are covered when the ICU specialists begin taking their 12-week maternity leave.
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