A Republican state senator Maureen Walsh has come under fire for saying that nurses in smaller hospitals 'probably play cards for a considerable part of the day'. Yes, really.
Senator Walsh made the comments during a debate about legislation that would provide nurses with uninterrupted rest periods and meal times, as well as mandatory overtime for nurses and certain health care employees.
Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Walsh said:
By putting these types of mandates on a critical access hospital that literally serves a handful of individuals, I would submit to you those nurses probably do get breaks.
They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.
Unsurprisingly she opposed the legislation, saying that 'it does not apply' to districts like hers that have many critical access hospitals, as well as fewer than 25 beds.
The comments have elicited a huge backlash, with many nurses responding with sarcastic pictures of them playing cards.
Lots of nurses also shared the hilarious pictures to Instagram, too.
Others protested the ill-informed statement by sending the senator packs of cards after Shy Braaten posted a now-deleted open letter to her on Facebook that included Ms Walsh's PO Box address, and it went viral.
According to CNN, the now-deleted letter read:
I don't know any nurses who play cards, Senator Walsh.
I know nurses who care for babies who were born with their spines on the outside of their bodies and brains that won't stop bleeding.
I know nurses who hold infants that can't stop crying because they were born addicted to heroin and methamphetamines.
One of the millions of people who love a nurse.
Another Change.org partition calling for Walsh to shadow a nurse for 12 hours has also gone viral and has now been signed by nearly 782,0000 people.
Following the uproar, Walsh issued a lengthy statement on Tuesday, in which she said:
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.
I really don't believe nurses at our critical access hospitals spend their days playing cards, but I did say it, and I wish I could reel it back.
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