Two-plus years into the coronavirus pandemic, the city is on track to recovery. The darkest days of quarantine, mobile morgue units and heartbreaking levels of loss appear to be behind the Big Apple — as are evenings which were once set to the tune of pots and pans crashing together, in a show of nightly support for the city’s healthcare heroes.
But, amid this year’s National Nurses Week, the thanks continue — and some of Brooklyn’s nurses are reflecting on what the annual commemoration and their careers mean to them.
“I love my job and colleagues,” said Adel Teodoro, an ER nurse at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn. “Everyone works together to achieve the same goal, which is the best care for the patients.”
Teodoro started her career at NYU Langone, formerly Lutheran Medical Center, in 1991, after coming to New York from the Phillippines.
“My work ethic is important in performing my role which includes dedication, integrity, service, compassion, and honesty in providing services to patients, staff, and family,” she said.
Teodoro is just one of more than 50 nurses with three decades of experience NYU Langone honored on Friday, May 6, and one of 821 nurses on staff the health care system is working to give back to throughout National Nurses Week.
Hospital leaders kicked off the annual week of celebration with a photoshoot outside of the Sunset Park hospital. There, NYU Langone nurses from all walks of life came together to discuss their careers in nursing, and the critical role that nurses serve in hospitals not just across the five boroughs, but across the globe.
For RN Helen Torres, working at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn is like working at home.
“We’ve set down roots,” she said of her and her colleagues. “Brooklyn is my home, and [NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn] is just a place like home that I go to every day.”
When asked what positive changes she’s seen in the 35 years she’s spent working at the institution, she reflected on finding a feeling of “belonging.”
“The hospital is thriving,” said Torres, who now works at the NYU Family Health Center not far from the hospital. “The community loves the hospital, we love the hospital. We belong here.”
National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, a social reformer and statistician formally known as the founder of modern nursing.
This year’s National Nurses Week comes as the city continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Though case and death counts remain much lower than they were in 2020, the five boroughs continue to grapple with new variants of the illness, and recurring surges.
Through it all, nurses at NYU Langone have kept their faith, and helped keep the city moving in times of crisis.
“We couldn’t be more proud of our nurses who for more than three decades have dedicated their careers to helping our community in Southwestern Brooklyn,” said Jose Hernandez, vice president of Nursing and Patient Care Services at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn. “Each and every one of them is an exceptional and caring professional who we honor not only during nurse’s week; but throughout the year. Through the years they have been leaders, mentors, and caregivers whose commitment to patient advocacy has never waned.”
NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn continued its Nurses Week commemorations with a May 10 award ceremony. Awards were given for spirit of caring, nursing excellence, nursing leadership, quality and safety award, and nursing research.
When asked on Friday how she planned to celebrate National Nurses Week, Torres said, “We’re gonna party!”