A Republican Senator tried to claim that nurses at small, rural hospitals “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day” in her support of an amendment excluding said nurses from a law that would have given them the right to uninterrupted breaks and lunches. Not longer ones. The proposed law would only give them the right to be able to refuse to have their precious free time during shifts that routinely last 12 hours or more be interrupted by requests to do more work.
The senator, Maureen Walsh of Washington state, was speaking in support of an amendment to this law that would let small enough hospitals ignore this requirement. Nurses and hospital workers everywhere have pointed out that both this amendment and Walsh’s statement are ludicrous. Small hospitals are often understaffed and underfunded, requiring more work from nurses than from some large hospitals.
Plus, everyone should be entitled to uninterrupted breaks. It’s not a big ask, you guys.
Unfortunately, the amendment was passed, and the Senate bill will now have to be reconciled with the House bill before it can go to the governor’s office for signing. Hopefully, the amendment can and will be removed, especially considering all the blowback from actual nurses explaining why the idea that rural nurses don’t deserve uninterrupted breaks is garbage.
Walsh has since apologized for her comment, saying that she was “tired” and regrets saying it. You know who else is tired, Senator Walsh?
Next time you want to say anything less than good about nurses, see the above gif and make better choices.
Or you risk getting roasted again.
Trust me, nurses haven’t earned the title "most trusted profession" for seventeen years running by "playing cards" on our shifts. WA Sen. Maureen Walsh should be ashamed to use #nurses to score cheap political points like this. #1U #nurseslife pic.twitter.com/ucm89ezpDj— Bonnie Castillo (@NNUBonnie) April 19, 2019
I’d like to remind Senator Maureen Walsh of Lynne Truxillo. The Baton Rouge nurse who was attacked by a patient and died on April 11th due to her injuries. Oh, and she finished her goddamn shift before leaving. Don’t trivialize my profession. #senatorwalsh #silentnomore— Natalie Hobbs, RN, CCRN (@Hobbs_Nat) April 19, 2019
Can someone take Senator Maureen Walsh to a hospital and have her shadow one nurse for one shift? I bet her stupid butt wouldn’t last for 2 hours. It pisses me off how people, like her, be so uninformed and so narrow-minded about the nurse to patient ratios and changing...— Dustin Jessie (@DustinJessie) April 19, 2019
Senator Maureen Walsh, nurses prefer 12hr shifts to 8hr shifts bc we need that break to do it all over again. The thought of spending 5 days in a row with you would push us over the edge. You couldn't handle a single day. Don't speak of what you don't do. #nurselife #notit— Kim Shorette (@ShoretteKim) April 19, 2019
WA Sen. Maureen Walsh thinks that nurses spend "a considerable amount of time playing cards", implying that they don't need breaks. I remember my 14-hour shifts in the ED and forgetting to even pee because I was so busy. Anyone have a lead on these Texas Hold 'Em units? pic.twitter.com/AwzmCSjONc— Donald Jacobsen, author & nurse (@DonaldMJacobsen) April 20, 2019
Nurses at the nurses station when Senator Maureen Walsh shows up pic.twitter.com/M8dJsc31Xg— Michaela ?? (@vacuumbiscuits) April 19, 2019
Senator Maureen Walsh - Us nurses don't play games. We also don't eat, drink, or pee for 12 hours at a time, because we are too busy saving lives!— Shelley (@ShelleyLBI) April 20, 2019
#MaureenWalsh #nursesdontplaycards pic.twitter.com/1if8usITHp
Joy Behar, 2015: “Watch me piss off nurses with a stethoscope comment.”— Kelli Daugherty (@kelli5605) April 19, 2019
WA state Senator Maureen Walsh, 2019: “Hold my beer.” https://t.co/CnDvLAmLQJ
To Senator Maureen Walsh: we will be caring for you one day, and we will treat you with much more respect and dignity than you've shown us. You have kicked a beehive, madam. #NurseTwitter #MedTwitter #girlmedtwitter #nurselife pic.twitter.com/OjOG4XRXXL— nurse maria (@mpirotteRN) April 19, 2019
I am at a loss for words at Maureen Walsh's comment about nurses playing cards. A bachelors degree in nursing has been named one of the hardest undergraduate degrees. By the time we finish school we are wiped out.— Kayla Smith (@kayla_marie1123) April 19, 2019
This is Maureen Walsh ... she thinks nurses play cards at critical access hospitals but forgets that medical personnel saved her life after a life threatening heart attack https://t.co/i0ZbmZyX9A pic.twitter.com/8eg7Mu9qxa— Rainy Nite (@rainz_nitely) April 19, 2019
The thought of a nursing shift where you’d have time for a game of rummy is laughable at best -- and an insult to the most trusted profession at worst. Shame on you, Sen. Maureen Walsh! #Nurse #NurseLife https://t.co/sXvhXwqDrf— NationalNursesUnited (@NationalNurses) April 19, 2019
Nurses aren’t playing cards all day. We are caring for your mother, brother, sister, son, grandparent, niece..We are missing holidays and weekends. We certainly didn’t go into this professions to “play cards for a considerable amount of the day” @ Senator Maureen Walsh— Julie Gardner, RN (@nurseJulieG) April 19, 2019
Hey Senator Maureen Walsh, you wouldn’t last a DAY in a nurses shoe. With the exception of TWO shifts, I’ve never had a full break (which comes out of my paycheck, btw). Maybe come see what we endure. And we want 12 hour shifts, because 8 isn’t enough to complete quality care.— Kylie Mauro (@KJM_RN_) April 19, 2019
You know who probably actually sits around wasting time and not doing anything productive? Washington state Senator Maureen Walsh.https://t.co/W0SQwoGE7u— Sean Vanderfluit (@Vanderfluit) April 20, 2019
Let's be civil and give Washington state senator Maureen Walsh a chance to sincerely apologize for insulting the integrity and hard work of nurses everywhere. Demeaning caregivers who one day may care for you or your loved ones is a card game you don't want to play 😉— Dr. Zubin Damania (@ZDoggMD) April 19, 2019
Senator Maureen Walsh R-Walla Walla, better hope she never needs to depend on any of those incredibly hard working & too-often-under-appreciated men & women in the nursing profession.— Glen Buhlmann (@GlenBikes) April 18, 2019
If it were me, I’d ignore her, go play cards. But that’s one of many reasons I’m not a nurse. https://t.co/OC02NFVv3G
This is to WA SENATOR Maureen Walsh and only Maureen Walsh. You are ill-informed if you think nurses have time to play cards all shift. Many a shift, I have not been able to urinate until the end, or feed myself, or grieve for a dead patient. So, no, I don't have time for cards.— ((( Matt ))) (@GothamNurse) April 19, 2019
Republican Senator Maureen Walsh has been found after pissing off every nurse on the planet pic.twitter.com/8Y6LE85GfC— Stone ? (@stonecold2050) April 21, 2019
Senator Maureen Walsh: I was married to a Trauma ER Nurse for 10 years and was a Medic before I became a cop. You have never heard the screams of family that will haunt u. You have never had to tell a family their daughter isn't coming home.. u show me ur cards! #showyourcards pic.twitter.com/nPjTxTKjRs— Ohio Five-0 (@OhioFive0) April 21, 2019
By the way, there is a petition going to convince Senator Walsh to shadow a nurse for a single 12-hour shift. As of this article’s publishing, it has nearly 515,000 signatures. Walsh has yet to respond to the petition, probably because she knows she couldn’t handle it.