Thousands sign petition demanding lawmaker shadow nurse for 12 hours

National/World

A petition asking Washington State Sen. Maureen Walsh to shadow a nurse for a 12-hour shift has passed 465,000 signatures.

“Senator Maureen Walsh stated that we as nurses mostly spend our 12-hour shifts playing cards. I would like to take a stand and petition to have the Senator experience what really happens during an RN’s 12-hour shift. She most likely won’t be playing uno….” wrote Juliana Bindas, the woman behind the petition.

The lawmaker angered nurses this week after suggesting that they “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.”

Walsh was debating SHB 1155, a bill that would require uninterrupted meal and rest periods for certain healthcare workers. She argued that such breaks would make it difficult for rural hospitals to stay open. 

“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,” Walsh said. 

“I understand helping with employees and making sure that we have rest breaks and things like that. But I also understand that we need to care for patients first and foremost,” she continued.

Walsh voted against the bill, which was passed Tuesday. 

Her remarks quickly sparked outrage nationwide. The Washington State Nurses Association called them “incredibly disrespectful.”

Bindas’ petition has been circulating for less than two days and already has over 465,000 signatures. The goal is to reach 500,000.

The petition can be found here.

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