Babies on board: Sixteen Arizona nurses become pregnant at same time
The nurses joke that there must be something in the water as they prepare to give birth between October and January.
In a happy coincidence, 16 intensive care nurses at a suburban Arizona hospital recently discovered that they were all pregnant. On Friday, when it was revealed that all 16 nurses at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa outside Phoenix were expecting babies between October and January, they joked that there was probably something in the water.
Nurse Jolene Garrow cracked, "We all formulated this plan to have the holidays off!" Nurse Rochelle Sherman who is nearly eight months down, said, "I don't think we realized just how many of us were pregnant until we started a Facebook group."
That said, even patients at the medical center began to notice that most of the nurses around them were expecting as their respective pregnancies progressed in unison, according to Garrow. Just the night before, one patient insisted on touching her belly.
"I know a couple of us did fertility treatments," nurse Paige Packard said at a news conference Friday. "That's how I ended up finding out that everyone was pregnant. I was like, 'Oh, well, I didn't plan this. Did we have some kind of pact going I didn't know about?'" Packard said.
But there are certain patients that pregnant mothers should not be exposed to, as their conditions or the treatments administered to them could prove to be harmful for the babies.
However, Garrow says that their non-pregnant counterparts have made sure they stay away from such cases, which include tuberculosis, shingles, chemotherapy, or any other exposure to radiation, reported ABC News.
Having said that, there could be nurses who have grown tired of their pregnancy-focused conversations, according to Ashley Adkins. "They just roll their eyes!" she laughed. "More baby talk!"
The nurses revealed that they like to go to the cafeteria together in order to satiate their pregnancy cravings. A cafeteria worker has been requested to make the salad bar more "pregnancy-friendly," and suggested they add savory selections such as olives and pickles.
"The next day there were pickles and olives," the nurse said.
But the hospital has already been planning for the upcoming shortage of nurses months in advance, according to an official.
"The 16 nurses are from three different critical care units," said Heather Francis, nursing director for various ICU units at Banner.
A pool of floating nurses that work for the Banner medical center chain has been instructed to ensure that when ICU nursing specialists begin their 12-week maternity leaves starting this fall, they should cover the vacant shifts.
Furthermore, the non-pregnant nurses are throwing a group baby shower for their expecting colleagues next week.
In order to celebrate the occasion, the women were gifted one-piece rompers by the hospital on Friday, emblazoned with the words, "Relax! My mom is a Banner nurse!"