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Celebrating "National Nurses Day" in Western New York

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Posted at 6:00 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 20:58:50-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — "Nurses week is the most important part of my year," Shari McDonald, chief nursing officer at Mercy Hospital said.

Nurses week kicks off on May 6, which is "National Nurses Day."

“We live in a pretty thankless environment when we nurse, so when someone does recognize it you don’t really know how to respond sometimes because it’s not something you’re really use to,” Lona DeNisco, a nurse at ECMC said.

DeNisco and McDonald are both nurses in Buffalo and each has served the community for more than 20 years.

“It is a privilege and an honor," McDonald said. "And it’s rewarding to see the differences that you can make in somebodies life.”

But, she also says that sometimes it can be challenging, and agrees.

“We are like the pillars for the families sometimes," she said. "It’s really overwhelming to have a family member that's involved in a life or death situation, and we are like the safety net for those people.”

So McDonald said when nurses are recognized for their hard work, it can be rewarding.

“They get to show that they really are heroes. They are like that fireman who runs into the fire, they are like that police officer than runs into a domestic violence house. You don’t know what’s gonna be on the other side,” she said.

During this COVID-19 pandemic especially, both nurses agreed that the community support has been overwhelming.

“And it’s actually the drive that keeps most of us going,” DeNisco adds.

So, during a time where healthcare workers are more important than ever, how can we thank them?

“Just stop me and say thank you,” McDonald said.

“It speaks volumes to the nurses and the medical staff," DeNisco adds. "We literally save lives everyday. So that one thank you, or to see someone come back, it’s amazing. That’s the best part of this job.”