In a recent address of the Washington state Senate, one Republican legislator argued against portions of a new bill.
The legislation was subsequently adopted and mandates clear breaks for nurses. State Sen. Maureen Walsh wanted to exempt some smaller hospitals based on her controversial theory.
She said she agreed with the idea of regular breaks but also “understand[s] that we need to care for patients first and foremost.”
Speaking specifically about rural hospitals, Walsh asserted that “nurses probably do get breaks.”
She went on to claim that they “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”
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
That comment attracted immediate criticism from groups including the Washington State Nurses Association.
The group called her remark “incredibly disrespectful and patronizing.”
In a statement, the WSNA addressed Walsh directly.
“No, Senator, nurses are not sitting around playing cards,” the group wrote. “They are taking care of your neighbors, your family, your community.”
Multiple nurses joined in on the criticism, offering Walsh an idea of how demanding the job can be.
Do you believe nurses spend much of their day playing cards? Share your response to the senator’s remarks in the comments section below.