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May 14, 2016

Reflections on an Event

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Nurses from all over the US gather to support and raise awareness for staffing ratio legislation. Photo credit: David Miller, RN.


Written by David Miller, RN

I’ve never “rallied” before. I am not the rallying kind.

I have watched rallies, protests and marches. There was lots of yelling and noise, and threats of violence or consequences if the agenda or cause was not acted on by those in power. It frequently devolves into an ugly scene, with news cameras covering the mayhem.

This rally, The Rally for Safe Staffing Ratios, was nothing of the kind. The speakers were emphatic and emotional but there were no angry outbursts, or calls for ousting of political leaders. There was no political rhetoric or campaigning. What I saw was a group of nurses, family and friends who gathered to bring to light an issue that all nurses face at some point—not having enough help to safely take care of the patients on their assignments. This can result from inadequate staffing, staff call outs, or other reasons. The stress of knowing we are unable to get to every patient that may need our help, or possible mistakes that could be made can be overwhelming. It is too much for many to take. I have personally seen recent nursing school graduates quit their jobs over this stress. This saddens me, as Nursing can be one of the most rewarding careers out there.

This rally was an amazing example of how people of every race, gender, political opinion, religious beliefs (or non-belief) could come together to speak from the heart about why we do our jobs: patients, and patient safety. This is not about Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives or any other political party. Do we have all the answers? Not yet, but we must begin to talk about it. We must work together to find the solution. I am proud to have been a part of this rally and I look forward to what lies ahead. Nurses United for Patient Safety: it’s a cause I believe in!

dm_cameraDavid Miller is a long term care RN that hails from Virginia. You can see his portfolio of photography work here. If you’re looking for images David captured while in Washington D.C., you can view and purchase them here.

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