Julianne Palardy, BSN, RN, CCRN
Cardiothoracic ICU RN, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston
Hometown: Essex Fells
Julianne Palardy has been a nurse for 17 years, following in her mother Joanne Anscher’s footsteps, who was also a nurse at Saint Barnabas Medical Center until she retired.
“Nursing has been part of my life since childhood with my mom practicing as a labor and delivery nurse for most of her life,” she says.
Palardy says her mother risked her own health to take care of her granddaughters during the pandemic so Palardy could go to work. “Our Cardiothoracic (open-heart) ICU was converted into a COVID ICU,” she says. “We all worked hard as a collaborative team to provide the greatest evidence-based care to each patient.”
Palardy says the hardest part of work during COVID-19 was holding the hands of sick patients when their families couldn’t be with them.
“As a team, we said prayers to initiate each shift,” she says. “We needed that uplifting start because at the end of the day you were so emotionally exhausted from the amount of tragedy you had witnessed that you were unable to grieve. We were strong when our coworkers needed us, holding them as they cried, and they were there when we were the person needing to be consoled. However, we all pushed through it facing each day at a time and on most days, each moment at a time. Although most of us were filled with fear, we put on brave faces for each other, our patients and ourselves.”
Palardy, who suffers from Lupus, said she didn’t realize the big impact she made on her own daughters until her eldest, Gabby, gave her a letter.
“Until my daughter wrote me a beautiful letter about how much I meant to her, I remained stoic,” she says.
I hope you stay healthy and never get sick. I hope you know that I really appreciate you and your hard work. I know it’s hard to go to work for 13 hours straight and not to see your family. You’re the best Mom I could ever have in the world.
Even though she’s her daughters’ hero, Palardy still thinks healthcare workers share the credit with everyday citizens, like her own mother.
“Healthcare workers have been seen as being heroes in this pandemic, and rightfully so, but it’s also taken a whole village of people to keep us going through these times,” she says. “The unseen heroes of this pandemic are our children and families that have also risked their lives for us to do our job each and every day.”