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Sixteen ICU nurses nearing maternity leave at Banner Desert

Back Row L to R: Teresa Raison, Jolene Garrow, Mary Ann Rosete, Jessica, Paige Packard, Keegan Lacy, Karlyn Chavez, Allison Thompson. Front Row, L to R: Ashley Adkins, Morgan Holderman, Rochelle Sherman, Mary Kathryn Mills. (Kathy Cline/KTAR News)

PHOENIX — A Valley hospital is losing a handful of nurses this winter — to maternity leave.

Sixteen of the ICU nurses at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa are pregnant. Most of them are due this winter.

Nurse Ashley Adkins said she and another colleague found out about their pregnancies first.

“Once we found out … we started to let our managers and our coworkers know,” she said. “And it was like — just one after another, after another, after another.”

Despite morning sickness on the job (the women work nights), aching backs and olive cravings, the nurses say it’s great to have pregnant colleagues nearby.

“It’s not an easy job to be pregnant and in an ICU, especially,” nurse Rochelle Sherman said. “It’s just nice to have people to talk to … and just to get that support from each other.”

Jolene Garrow said non-pregnant colleagues have been incredibly supportive.

One of her pregnant colleagues, she said, had a request for a cafeteria worker.

“‘Make the salad bar a little more pregnancy-friendly — like, add pickles and olives,'” she said. “The next day, there were pickles and olives.”

That’s not all. The hospital got the pregnant nurses presents — it gave each a one-piece baby romper that says “Relax … my mom is a Banner nurse!”

Banner Desert officials assures patients there will be no interruption in care. They’ve been planning coverage for the nurses while they’re on maternity leave.

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