From the outside, The Cutting Edge Styling Studio in Frederick looked closed. Lights in front of the door were dark, but inside, women were chatting and laughing as stylists curled their hair or applied eyeshadow.
Owner Cindy Baer closed her salon early on Saturday to provide an evening of pampering for the forensic nursing team at Frederick Memorial Hospital. The nurses could get their hair washed and styled, get their makeup done and have their hands massaged.
After the salon trip, they went out for dinner, said Pamela Holtzinger, coordinator for forensic nurse services.
The idea for the evening started as a conversation between Baer, Holtzinger and stylist Stacie Lynch. Holtzinger is a regular client at Cutting Edge, and she wanted to give her team a relaxing night. When Baer heard about the idea, she offered to provide the services free of charge.
Holtzinger said she wanted to do a planned event in order to provide “care for the caregivers.” Forensic nurses regularly hear traumatic stories. The evening gave them a chance to all talk and support one another, while also getting pampered, she said.
“But for [the salon staff] to give up a Saturday evening for us is really, really special,” Holtzinger said.
Being part of the forensic nursing team is in addition to their jobs, “and they don’t have the opportunity to have the time to feel good about themselves,” Holtzinger said.
The team will try to get together once a month, but this is the first planned event, Holtzinger said.
The team is supportive of one another, said Sammy Saylor. She has been a part of the nursing team for about a year. Outside of her job with the team, she is an emergency department nurse at Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown.
Saylor had gotten her hair blown out and curled and was waiting to get her makeup done. The nurses are on call, which means they often get called in to the hospital at 2 or 3 a.m., she said.
“So being able to look like a human for once is nice,” Saylor said.
Stylists and nurses chatted with each other in the salon and complimented their looks. There was a selfie light set up in the back, giving the women an opportunity to take pictures.
“They are having a blast, and I am having a blast,” Baer said.
The stylists also had a good time, Lynch said. The salon team is like a family, and she saw the same attitude among the forensic nurses.
She was happy to be part of the night because the nurses give so much, they deserved to have someone give to them, she said.
“They need to feel appreciated as well,” Lynch said.
And it seemed that the salon staff was just as excited to be able to provide pampering as the nurses were to get it, said forensic nurse Anne Palmer.
“I think it’s good to keep the team cohesive and in good spirits, because we see a lot of bad things,” Palmer said.
Palmer, a pediatric nurse, has been with the forensic team for five years. As the team does not always get to find out what happens when they are done with a case, it is nice to have time with the other nurses where they can debrief. They also remind one another that they are making a difference, she said.
Palmer got her hair curled and her hands massaged. She said it was “amazing” that the salon staff was willing to provide services for them.
“I felt like a princess for the day,” she said.