Washington State Senator Maureen Walsh (R) just infuriated healthcare employees nationwide after making outrageous comments about nurses who “play cards” on their shift.
The Senator’s remarks came during a heated debate in the Washington State Senate over SHB 1155, a new law that would establish mandatory meal and rest breaks for nurses. Walsh argued for an amendment to the bill that would exclude smaller hospitals from the requirement, suggesting most nurses sit around idly at work playing games.
Nurses clapped back, schooling Walsh on the grueling realities of their job.
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
Walsh ended up apologizing for her remarks, later claiming she was tired and said something she regretted. But the Senator reiterated her distaste for the proposed law.
Opponents of SHB 1155 are skeptical of new regulations that might create staffing disruptions and limit the number of hours Washington nurses can work.
Healthcare workers on social media slammed Walsh.
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
Good morning, everyone. Did you know that there is an elected official in WA that doesn’t feel nurses deserve rest breaks because they “spend most of the day playing cards”? Here’s her contact info. Why don’t you all call her… https://t.co/UFjtwn5wLv
— Dr. Jalil Johnson (@JalilJohnson78) April 19, 2019
Did this idiot REALLY just say that nurses probably “sit around and play cards most of the time”?!?! State Senator Maureen Walsh needs to apologize ASAP. Nurses *run* the hospital and provide bedside care for hours on hours. They deserve WAY more respect. #RespectNurses
— Taylor O'Neal (@DancingDoctor4) April 19, 2019
Apology or not, it definitely wasn’t a good idea to mess with nurses.
Maureen Walsh came for the wrong fucking group…. nurses are savages.
— PICU Princess 👑 (@picu_nursey) April 20, 2019
I am a Registered Nurse. I use a stethoscope. I work in the Emergency Room. I am Canadian and Canadian Nurses don’t have time to play cards either! #maureenwalsh now you pissed off Canadian Nurses too 😡
— Sarah Comeau (@sarah_comeau) April 20, 2019
Don’t piss off NURSES. They’re like the mafia, piss off one and you piss off the rest… with a vengeance.
Overheard by Washington State Senator Maureen Walsh: “They probably play… https://t.co/5y2Ifjl5Dm
— Sean Dent (@SeanPDent) April 19, 2019
One thing’s for sure: nurses have zero time to play cards.
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
As a former patient and now surgeon I can attest to the fact that our #Nurses are not spending their time “playing cards”.
They are the glue that ensures the delivery of care does not crumble.
— Joseph Sakran (@JosephSakran) April 20, 2019
At least one doctor called for civility in response to Senator Walsh’s ignorant remarks.
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
But others spoke up about the harsh reality of working a nursing shift.
Might need to finish our game of Uno before we attend to this…. Senator Maureen Walsh… how did you even get elected? pic.twitter.com/hffqyt16pX
— Becky Bachelor Shook (@bbach79) April 19, 2019
— Thessa D (@thessamd08) April 20, 2019
Maureen Walsh..this is the reality of what nurses do. I suggest you educate yourself pic.twitter.com/4yxQVw3sIx
— Beth Fryer (@kyshoegal) April 19, 2019
Many posted powerful pictures and shared stories of their actual job duties.
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!
#MaureenWalsh #nursesdontplaycards pic.twitter.com/1if8usITHp
— Shelley (@ShelleyLBI) April 20, 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
Regardless of the legal issue at hand, the jobs of hardworking nurses shouldn’t be trivialized.
After this brutal backlash, we’re betting Senator Walsh learned a lesson about insulting healthcare professionals.