Falcons cheerleaders help on the front lines as health workers

Falcons cheerleaders help on the front lines as health workers

ATLANTA – Olivia Freeman’s uniform these days is very different from what she’s used to.

She traded in her Falcons pom poms for a medical gown, face shield and N95 mask while working with coronavirus patients as a registered nurse in a local cardiac intensive care unit.

“It was really scary because I didn’t know when things were going to go back to normal and if it was ever going to be normal like it used to be, you know?” she told FOX 5 Sports. “So it was kind of scary for me.”

Falcons cheerleaders helping on the front lines as healthcare workers

Falcons cheerleaders helping on the front lines as healthcare workers

Two Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders who are working as registered nurses at metro Atlanta hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic say the support of the community has lifted them up during this difficult time. This may interest you : The Jacksonville native is headed to the NFL Pro Bowl.

Support from co-workers, managers, the community and her fellow Falcons cheerleaders — five of whom work in the healthcare industry — has gotten Freeman through a challenging professional and personal stretch during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I like to see videos of people clapping — I think they live around some of the hospitals and clapping for the workers coming in and out,” Freeman said. “I think it’s really, really great that we have the support of our community.”

Celia Burger works in the recovery unit at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital as a registered nurse in the cardiology wards and is studying at Mercer University in its Acute Care Nurse Practitioner master’s program. He usually works in the surgical unit, but due to the COVID-19 disease, he is around the hospital more.

“During my time as a nurse, I was so impressed with the work ethic and attitude of everyone at the hospital,” she said. “This is the time when this is our calling, this is our job. This is the time when we stand up and really help people.”

She said she represents the Falcons with her badge pin, a surgical cap and now a Falcons face mask.

Falcons cheerleaders Celia Burger, left, and Olivia Freeman, right, work as registered nurses at Metro Atlanta Hospitals.

Both said their cheerleading skills carry over to their day-to-day work as registered nurses.

“I feel like as a nurse I want to be that cheerleader for my patient because I want them to get stronger and I want them to do better,” Burger said. “You’re the one closest to them and you can FaceTime the family, keep them updated and create that bond and relationship. And then if you see them refusing, it’s your job to say, ‘Hey, something’s wrong, my patient needs help. We need to make progress in care.’ So really building that relationship with your patient and being their biggest advocate was the biggest thing as a nurse, especially at this time.”

Falcons cheerleaders Celia Burger, left, and Olivia Freeman, right, work as registered nurses at metro Atlanta hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Both were uplifted by the support of the Atlanta community and their loved ones during difficult times.

“Even a simple text that’s like, ‘Wow, thanks for what you’re doing,’ or friends sent me masks or a little Venmo that’s like, ‘enjoy my coffee today,’ or something like that,” Burger said. “It’s like lifting a little during the day when you’re having a hard time and you’re like, wow, this is worth it. I’m helping someone.”

He also believes that quarantine and isolation could help people appreciate life more once the pandemic subsides.

“If we’re grateful for the simple things in life, I think we end up appreciating those times a lot more,” Burger said. “I think there is light at the end of the tunnel and I look forward to the moments when we can get together again and spend time on the field.”

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