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Celebrities play Nurse for a Day at Maimonides

May 13, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
They’re wearing their uniforms and they're ready to meet their patients. Honorary nurses Tony Wu, Hon. Patricia DiMango, Jeanine Ramirez, Isabel DiMola, Father Edmund Alleyne, Bishop Gregory Mansour, and Col. Joseph Davidson gather in a conference room before making their rounds. Eagle photos by Paula Katinas
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The young people in Hon. Patricia DiMango’s presence on Thursday morning were all crying and wailing. But it wasn’t because DiMango had handed down a strict ruling against them from the bench.

They were crying because they’re newborns.

DiMango, a former New York State Supreme Court justice who currently stars in “Hot Bench,” the hit CBS reality courtroom show, was one of several luminaries serving as Nurses for a Day at Maimonides Medical Center on May 12.

It was part of the celebration of National Salute to Nurses Week (May 6-12) at Maimonides Medical Center at 4802 10th Ave. Hospital officials invited local celebrities to be honorary nurses for the day to get a feel for what life is like on the front lines of health care. The event, which Maimonides holds every year, is designed to foster closer ties between the hospital and the community, according to officials.

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Maimonides Medical Center is a 711-bed acute care facility that serves a wide swath of Brooklyn. The hospital has 71 primary care and sub-specialty programs.

The honorary nurses certainly looked the part. Each was outfitted in a nurse’s uniform and each was given a stethoscope. They were paired off with real RNs who took them on their rounds to meet patients and see the inner workings of the hospital.

DiMango received a guided tour of the maternity ward from her nurse mentor, Judy Mulia, and another nurse, Lori White.

“It’s very emotional to see the newborns. I have tears in my eyes. The babies are so precious!” DiMango said as she looked at the infants in their basinets.

In addition to DiMango, the honorary nurses were: Police Chief Steven M. Powers, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South; NYPD Capt. Kenneth Quick; Col. Joseph Davidson, commanding officer of the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hamilton; NY1 reporter Jeanine Ramirez; Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn  Chamber of Commerce; Father Edmund Alleyne, pastor of Saint Gabriel’s Episcopal Church; Isabel DiMola, superintendent of School District 21; Tony Wu, principal of P.S. 170; Bishop Gregory Mansour, head of the Eparchy of Saint Maron; and Louis Welz, the CEO of the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush.

Prior to making their rounds, the honorary nurses gathered in a second floor conference room to meet their nurse mentors and receive instructions from Tom Smith, the hospital’s senior director of nursing, and Kelly Reilly, senior director of nursing education.

“Today, you’re going to see a lot in the units,” Reilly told her new “nurses.” She also instructed them to make sure to wash their hands before and after leaving each patient’s room.

To help prevent infection, the honorary nurses who have not had their flu shots were required to wear surgical masks.

Smith said he was confident the day would be an enjoyable experience for the newcomers. “I know you’re going to have a great time,” he told them.

A hospital official explained the strict patient confidentiality code that exists at Maimonides Medical Center and at all hospitals, instructing the honorary nurses that they could not reveal the names of any of the patients they met. “The fact that someone is a patient here is, by law, private information,” the official said.

That meant that if an honorary nurse recognized a patient as a friend, neighbor or even a relative, they were were prohibited from telling anyone they saw the patient in a hospital bed.

After an hour of rounds, the honorary nurses and their mentors gathered for a luncheon in the hospital, where they shared their experiences with each other.

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