SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Nurses at St. Joseph’s Health Hospital, often start their day with a group meeting.

“We have a huddle system where our frontline unit leadership will meet with their staff right before the shift starts,” said Amanda Slifka, the Director of Orthopedic and Oncology Services at St. Joseph’s Health Hospital. “Any barriers or concerns those staffs have, managers will then escalate up to the directors.”

They want nurses to have a voice. It’s just one of the ways they ensure the caretakers are taken care of.

“The last two years have definitely been a struggle and I am amazed by the resilience of our nurses. We’ve had wellness programs. We’ve obviously done incentives to keep people working, try to give time off as much as we can when people need it for that mental break,” Slifka explained.

She works in management now but knows firsthand why this is so important.

“I always grew up knowing that I wanted to be a nurse.” Slifka added, “I love being now an advocate for the frontline nurses.”

She’s been at this hospital for more than 21 years and even attended St. Joseph’s College of Nursing. The impact of the nursing shortages nationwide is felt on a local level and the hospital is doing what it can to recruit.

“We have a wonderful orientation program and a GN residency program. We have several preceptors here. We have a wonderful education department,” Slifka said.

There’s a brand new class that will soon graduate. Slifka’s advice to them, “It is a very rewarding career. It is not easy, but it’s the most rewarding career, a profession that I can think of,” Slifka said.

A special thank you to the hard-working nurses, all across Central New York. It was an honor to share some of your stories, we know there are countless more.