This is an open letter to Senator Maureen Walsh – Dear Senator Walsh, You said that not all nurses deserve breaks as they just sit around playing cards while on shift anyway. I don’t know any nurses who play cards, Senator Walsh. I know nurses who care for babies who were born with their spines on the outside of their bodies and brains that won’t stop bleeding. I know nurses who hold infants that can’t stop crying because they were born addicted to heroin and meth amphetamines. I know nurses who roll those same babies down to the morgue when they finally do stop crying. Do you think that’s where they play cards, Senator Walsh?
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I know nurses who care for patients that no one else cares about – the homeless, the forgotten and even the psychotic with the same dedication they would show a celebrity…or a Senator. I know nurses who can go all night without food or a bathroom break. I know nurses with nerve damage and back pain from doing whatever it takes to take care of patients. I know nurses who cry in their cars. Do you think that’s where they play cards, Senator Walsh? I know nurses who are hard as steel when delivering life saving treatment to dying patients and softer than a whisper when delivering the news that it didn’t work to the family. Do you think they all play cards together after that, Senator Walsh?
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I know one nurse who is asleep in the next room right now after her second 12 hour shift of the holiday weekend. She left her shoes outside because she didn’t want to bring all the blood and bile that she walked through last night into our home. I wish she could leave everything else from the hospital outside that easy. She can’t. It stays with her. Sometimes she doesn’t want to talk about it. Sometimes she can’t wait to talk about it. Sometimes she laughs until she cries and sometimes she just cries but, regardless of those sometimes, she’ll be on time for her next shift. She doesn’t play cards either Senator Walsh – but I do. That’s how I made my living once upon a time before I met a nurse who changed my life.
You and I have that in common. Nurses are going to change your life too. You’ll find out how right after the next election cycle. You’ll have plenty of time to play cards and plenty of cards to play with yourself then. Sincerely, One of the millions of people who love a nurse. As much as I’d love to send her a deck of cards, it’d probably fuel her habit of sitting around and playing cards so instead I will send her a bedpan. Send her a bed pan and a broken hearted mother a grieving wife and an injured broken and bleeding teen to go with her freaking deck of cards!!!!! Have a nice day with Nurses Work Harder Than Senators shirt!