Those who help others in their fight for health were fighting for their own cause on Wednesday afternoon.
"The more they stfile our voices, the more it's going to come out, the more it's going to get louder, the more it's going to resonate," said Critical ICU Nurse Jennifer Bejo.
Wednesday, dozens of Albany Medical Center nurses joined together to rally for better wages and benefits. Karen Gerstenberger has been a nurse in the cardiac ICU for nearly 40 years.
"I really feel like this hospital management needs to value their employees," Gerstenberger said.
They have been under contract negotiations for more than a year, after the nurses voted to unionize in April 2018. Albany Med says this is a process in uncharted waters for both parties, and they are listening to the concerns of the nurses.
"Our nurses are extraordinary. They are experts at what they do. They help us ensure we're providing the right care, at the right time, and the right place," said the center's spokesman, Jeffrey Gordon.
The group of nurses say they are looking for competitive wages, benefits, and staffing. They hope this will bring in better workers and get them to stick around.
"Many, many people have left for better opportunities. We will all benefit if we have enough adequately trained and expert to care for you or your family members," Gerstenberger said.
The nurses also say better wages could make things easier at home.
"I work for my keep, I work to earn, to be able to have something to spend for my family," said Bejo, who is also a 13-year-veteran.
Both sides say they are confident they will come to a contract in which everyone can be happy, and continue to bring the best care to the community.
"The nurses are extraordinarily committed to our patients, and so are we. We're going to work together to get the best possible solution," Gordon said.
"I think it'll be a win-win for the hospital and the nurses," Gerstenberger added.