How #MedTwitter and #NurseTwitter are calling out a senator for claiming nurses “play cards”

By Diana Duong and Dr. Sharon Vorona

This week, a state senator in Washington came under fire for suggesting nurses in rural hospitals play cards during their shifts.

Maureen Walsh made the comment while arguing against bill SHB 1155, which would provide nurses with mandatory uninterrupted meal and rest breaks.

During the debate, the Republican senator argued for an amendment that would exempt staff in critical-access hospitals and hospitals with fewer than 25 beds from the meal and rest provisions.

“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,” Walsh said. “They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day”

The backlash was widespread and immediate. There are more than 750,000 signatures on several petitions calling on Walsh to either resign or shadow a nurse for an entire 12-hour shift.

Memes and satirical articles abound, and hundreds of nurses and physicians are using the hashtag #showyourcards to list the struggles, heartbreak, and dark moments that nurses face instead of playing cards. Here are a few examples:

Dr. Samina Ali, a pediatric emergency physician from Edmonton, Alberta, noted that nurses care about both patients and physicians.

Dr. Navneet Majhail, the director of the Blood & Marrow Transplant Program at the Cleveland Clinic, expressed his gratitude for nurses in his department.

In anesthesiologist Dr. Alexandra Anderson’s words: “Nurses take care of everyone in the hospital.”

Dr. Matthew Dixon, an assistant professor of surgery, hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) surgeon and surgical oncologist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, said Walsh’s comments were “misguided.”

This Los Angeles-based critical access emergency physician said nurses don’t get enough credit for all the work they do.

Dr. Brian Mangum, an epidemiologist in Fiji says nurses not only empathize with patients but also with physicians. He cannot recall an instance of nurses playing cards.

Other nurses shared the heartbreak they frequently face.

Walsh has since apologized, claiming she was “tired” when she made this comment. She’s also said she has the “greatest respect” for nurses, saying her own mother was a registered nurse. She has also agreed to shadow a nurse for 12 hours.

“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,” Walsh said earlier this week. trying to draw a comparison between urban and rural hospital staffing needs.”

The case doctors are talking about this week

Show, don’t tell. When it comes to discussing a medical error, this general surgeon found it easier to display the problem rather than explain it. The patient presented with nausea and vomiting. Can you spot the issue? See the discussion here.