RANDALLSTOWN, Md. — Nurses Week takes on a whole new meaning this year as the frontline healthcare workers play a key role in the fight against the Coronavirus.
Northwest Hospital in Randallstown thanked its nurses for their dedication by getting their day started with a welcome party.
For all of the hardworking nurses everywhere, it's a party which started with signs of appreciation, lots of cheers and loud music.
Northwest Hospital assistant nurse manager Tamara Sonnenschein said "it's just such a good morale booster for the team. They're working so hard, under stressful conditions. It just sets such a good tone for the day, and it's a way to thank them, and put everyone in a good spirit."
The man of the hour who volunteered for the task to play the tunes which had everyone in a good mood is Northwest Hospital surgical assistant Chip Kalisch, doing double duty as DJ.
“What better way than to give them music, have them be appreciated, let their hair down for at least a couple of minutes before they have to go and actually do their job that they came here to do," Kalisch said.
Northwest Hospital president Craig Carmichael said "we started by having our administrative team, here, creating everybody but then we thought we'd take it up a notch."
With three floors dedicated to COVID-19 patients, Carmichael explained how the facility has been hit hard, tripling it's ICU capacity.
“All of those give a new appreciation of the hard work that is done. with a no visitation policy, that has made it very difficult for our nurses because they're taking on that new role,” Carmichael said.
“That new role is, being there for that patient, holding their hand, saying that prayer with them, talking with them, comforting them there, in their last hours," Carmichael added.
Kalisch thought nurses could use some positive energy themselves, but he also gets something out of playing DJ for his co-workers.
“It's a feeling of accomplishment of actually providing to the staff, my co-workers, a way for them to enjoy, and that's what I feel," Kalisch said.
The high energy music of what looks and sounds like an early morning dance party isn't the only thing helping nurses get through the pandemic.
“It's the call. The call to take care of people. It’s what we've all signed up for. It’s the call to take care of each other, and it's what we do," Sonnenschein said.
Sonnenschein said there's a simple way to thank nurses for everything they do.
“Say thank you. It’s the random acts of kindness. It’s just the acknowledgment that we're working hard, working here. We’re showing up every day, and that's what touches them," Sonnenschein said.