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State Legislator Maligned Nurses

May 20, 2019 GMT

Editor: Recently a Republican Washington state senator had the audacity to suggest that hospital nurses probably spend a good part of their shift playing cards. I’m a registered nurse, and although retired now, I can assure you that my memory of working on staff at various hospitals compelled me to enlighten those who never had the honor to put on a pair of scrubs. If you never worked as a nurse, you have absolutely no idea what it is like. Despite the challenges and unforeseen obstacles they encounter, they get the job done, and they do it well. Not everyone can do it. First, you have to be smart. Then you have to get into and pass nursing school, and then the state licensing exam. And you have to have the psychological makeup to survive. If you want to work in a hospital setting, you better have the body and stamina of an athlete, too, because you are going to need it. You have to have incredible organizational skills to be a nurse. You realize early on that you will never have the time to do all the things you would like to do for your patient. You prioritize and do the most important things. Multi-tasking was invented by nurses. Nurses don’t have free time. They barely have the time to do the most important tasks to which they are assigned. Only nurses know this. The next time you see a nurse marching on a picket line, demanding fair pay, fair hours, more time to care for their patients and safer working conditions, take the time to stop and walk with them for a while and ask them a few questions. Only then you might begin to realize what being a nurse is all about. Ron Barnoski, R.N. SHAVERTOWN