SportsTampa Bay’s Big Game


Vascular ICU nurse at Tampa General Hospital juggles work and cheering for the Buccaneers

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Posted at 5:10 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 17:10:09-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Inside Tampa General Hospital Anastasia Lusnia has been worked tirelessly.

“It’s been overwhelming and it’s been stressful too for sure for everyone involved,” she said.

She works 12-hour shifts on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and sometimes she comes in on Sundays. She’s been in the Vascular ICU unit for a year and a half, and in the middle of all that she decided to go all-in on a dream.

“It’s kind of one of those things where you audition and it just seems like, you’re just going out on a whim and really in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I’ve actually made the team,” she said.

Out of the more than 500 applicants, she was picked to cheer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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“We even had to take a football exam online to test our knowledge of the team organization and sport. It was pretty intense,” said Lusnia.

She practiced with them Tuesdays and Thursdays and of course cheered at every home game.

“I just am so grateful for all of the support here at the hospital because I couldn’t have done it without them.”

And when the NFL announced that thousands of vaccinated healthcare workers would be in the stands for the big game… she was thrilled to have her colleagues there to share the moment!

“I know both worlds! In the hospital I see all of the hard work that everybody has done over the past year and just how stressful it’s been and to be rewarded,” she said. “It was truly just an experience of a lifetime. The confetti dropping at the end and the fireworks where is the best part of it all just being right there.”

Auditions for next season happen in May.