Northampton Press

Saturday, June 6, 2020


Wednesday, May 1, 2019 by The Press in Opinion

Cards, anyone?

If you are in need of a deck of cards, contact Washington state Sen. Maureen Walsh. She has received hundreds of decks of cards in response to comments she made about nurses April 16.

While debating a bill proposing uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for nurses, as well as further protections against mandatory overtime, Walsh said nurses in Critical Access Hospitals with relatively few patients “probably do get breaks” and “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

This from a woman whose mother was a registered nurse.

After receiving many postal bins of playing cards, a woman started a petition on to have Walsh job shadow a nurse for a 12-hour shift. As of April 28, 802,180 signatures are on the petition. Thousands of emails have been received by Walsh’s office from nurses across the country.

Walsh has agreed to job shadow a nurse and has offered an apology to any nurses she may have offended.

“I want to offer my heartfelt apologies to those I offended with my comments on the Senate floor last Tuesday. I was tired, and in the heat of argument on the Senate floor, I said some things about nurses that were taken out of context — but still they crossed the line,” Walsh said in a statement April 22 reported by USA Today.

My mother was hospitalized many years ago for 46 days with a staph infection — seven of those days in intensive care. The nurses who cared for her were wonderful — not only to my mother, but to our family.

More recently, my mother-in-law was in the hospital under the care of very loving, compassionate nurses. While we maintained a 24-hour vigil during the final days, the nurses were amazing. Anything the family needed, they were able to help with. Did they take breaks? I hope so, because they certainly deserved it.

My best friend was a nurse until her stroke five years ago. When she was working, she worked long hours and grew attached to her patients and made sure they were cared for.

I have been blessed to know many nurses — school nurses and others who care for the patient and the families with professionalism and compassion.

On May 12, we celebrate Florence Nightingale’s birth in Florence, Italy in 1820.

National Nurses Day is celebrated May 6 and is the beginning of National Nurses Week. It is the time we celebrate nurses and their contributions to our communities.

I am proud to call many nurses friends and appreciate the work they do.

Walsh has picked on the wrong group of hardworking men and women who are there for the birth of our children, the death of our loved ones and everyone in between.

I don’t know about you, but if I had to choose to spend an afternoon with a misguided politician or a compassionate nurse, I would choose the latter.

I hope when Walsh job shadows the nurses, they give her the job of emptying bedpans and all of the nonglamorous tasks nurses perform each and every day.

I think Walsh has enough decks of cards. I believe I will send her a bedpan.

Debbie Galbraith


East Penn Press

Salisbury Press