Nurses at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital have found a unique way to deal with the mounting stress of the coronavirus pandemic.
The “Swab Squad” is a group of float and per diem nurses that fills in for different departments at the hospital. It recently has been serving at Jefferson’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Center City.
The squad has used its Instagram account, @TJUH_Pool, to share team chants, exercise routines and dance moves. It’s all in an effort stay positive.
The group “leveled up” its swab game Sunday by tackling the dance challenge to “Level Up” by Ciara in a video that has now gone viral. The nurses reminded their followers that no protective personal equipment is ever wasted.
“We take our jobs, our patients, and the resources we use seriously,” they wrote on Instagram. “However, we also take our team morale seriously and mental health just as serious.”
The singer took notice to the nurses’ moves and posted the video to her Instagram account on Tuesday, which has now been viewed over 2.3 million times.
“Seeing the doctors and nurses of @Tjuh_pool do the #LevelUp Dance brings me so much joy,” Ciara wrote. “Grateful for each and every one of you! You all are on a whole nother level for how you’re working so hard and sacrificing so much to take care of everyone!”
The video received high praise from Janet Jackson, Reese Witherspoon, Rachel Zoe and more than 7,000 other commenters. The pool of nurses responded to Ciara’s post, “Thank you so much for the support!! Your song keeps encouraging our team to #levelup.”
The “Swab Squad” has taken on everything from The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” TikTok dance challenge to highlighting the importance of “swab fingers” — a tribute to the 2000 cheerleader film, “Bring It On.”
While their spirits remain high, the nurses noted the pandemic can still take a toll on them.
“We have a great team, and we do our best to remain optimistic (hence our dancing). That does not mean we do not have fears and anxieties,” the team posted on Tuesday. “However, we choose not to be defined by them. We are Nurses. We are strong. We are resilient. And most importantly, we are together.”