Unless someone is a nurse, is related to a nurse, or has depended on care from nurses, it’s clear that there is a knowledge gap about our work. We learned this a few years ago, when Joy Behar referred to one of our most important tools as a “doctor’s stethoscope” on The View
, and we are reminded again by the comments recently made by Washington State Senator Maureen Walsh:
“I understand… making sure that we have ‘rest breaks’ and things like that. But I also understand that we need to care for patients first and foremost… I would submit to you that those [critical access hospital] nurses probably do get breaks! They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day!”
– Sen. Maureen Walsh 4/16/19 comments on SHB 1155, a bill eliminating loopholes in mandatory overtime
Details of the story, presented by the Washington State Nurses Association, can be found here
along with the video of Walsh’s remarks. Her comments are demeaning, yes, but demonstrate that despite the recognition of nurses as the most trusted profession
, many do not understand the important work that we do.
Let’s educate them, shall we?
care for individuals, being present during some of their happiest and saddest times. We are there when people are their most vulnerable and bring comfort and understanding. We are proud to be able to thoroughly assess the whole person – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We are critical thinkers and are quick to recognize subtle signs of illness. We have a unique skillset to know how to prioritize, how to advocate, and when to simply listen.
care for families. We support loved ones and caregivers. We are skilled communicators and educators.
care for communities. We know that for individuals to be their healthiest, they must have access to a healthy environment.
“play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”
When a public figure demeans our work, it is disheartening but rallies us together to correct the error. Through education and sharing our important work, we can help elected officials understand the need for legislation to keep patients and staff safe, which is the bigger issue at hand here. Please consider reaching out to the elected officials in your state
and educating them and the public. And always, always be proud to be a nurse!
#nursesdontplaycards #notplayingcards #savinglives