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Nurses at HCA Florida St. Lucie Hospital crochet hats for newborns

Posted at 10:16 AM, Dec 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-18 10:16:32-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Health care workers dedicate so much of their time every holiday season to care for their patients, and sometimes that care goes beyond the walls of their facility.

That's especially true for two nurses at HCA Florida St. Lucie Hospital.

"This is the season of giving, so it's from our hearts," said Pat Vicino, a clinical nurse coordinator at the hospital.

"We do something that makes the families feel good," added registered nurse Lori Shafer, who works in the women's care unit.

For several years Shafer and Vicico have been crocheting baby hats for patients every holiday throughout the year.

That includes Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Independence Day, and now, Christmas, which is extra special because the nurses also crochet blanket-like cocoons for newborns to be swaddled in.

"We always had little hats to give to the babies by the volunteers, but this was something a little different and unique," Vicino said. "And I thought that they would really enjoy it. And it took off. It took off. They absolutely enjoy it."

"We try to do something for most holidays. So it's fun," Shafer said. "We had somebody here for Thanksgiving, so they got a little turkey care. And then Easter babies, I do little bunny rabbit hats."

The nurses also started crocheting teddy bears for babies.

"I really enjoy it. But the most enjoyment I get out of it is giving," Vicino said. "A new baby is a happy time in their life, and this just brings a little more sunshine to them. And they really, really enjoy it."

For more information about the women's care unit at HCA Florida St. Lucie Hospital, click here.