Washington State Senator Draws Ire for Saying that Rural Nurses ‘Probably Play Cards’
Politicians often find themselves in hot water after making careless comments that can hurt some sections of a community and that is what happened with Maurine Walsh, a Republican state senator for Washington. The senator made the comments during the course of a debate at the state Senate regarding a bill that was supposed to bring in much kinder break rules for nurses (including new rules on forced overtime) working in state hospitals. The senator spoke against the bill, and it has now emerged that she commented the nurses working in rural areas that have created a furor. 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.”
Needless to say, the furor started soon after those comments became public and in addition to two online petitions, social media fury was also directed at her with two specific hashtags. One of the online petitions simply asked for Walsh’s resignation, while another demanded that she spend a day with a nurse while the latter went through her duties during the course of a shift. Both those petitions are rapidly gathering online signatures from furious members of the public. The social media backlash was of course expected, and two of the hashtags that were used to criticize her comments were #maureenwalsh and #nursesplaycards.
Following the comment and the furor, the Washington State Nurses Association published a blog post in which it called the senator’s comments disrespectful. It stated, “Ignoring for a moment the incredibly disrespectful and patronizing nature of Sen. Walsh’s remarks, it’s evident that she misunderstands the purpose and function of the bill.” Eventually, the senator did make a statement regarding her comments and stated that it was a comment that she made at the end of a tiring day. She said, “I was tired. I said something I wish I hadn’t.” Senator Walsh might have expressed her regret regarding her conduct, but she stated that she is not going to change her stance regarding the bill.