Nurses protesting NATO

Or, a nurses’ union protesting at the NATO meetings, to be more exact. Lots of news stories covered this story today, so I thought I’d touch on it.

 Perhaps this is puzzling to people who think of nurses as doctors’ handmaidens, bedpan emptiers, and bosses at psych hospitals. Or perhaps it’s troubling to people who feel that nurses should be apolitical, providing compassionate care to everyone without ruffling any feathers or making anyone uncomfortable.

The union members at this particular protest seem to be advocating a “Robin Hood tax” along with a general anti-war message. 

 Whether or not you agree with the politics, I think it’s crucial that our society think of nurses, and that nurses think of themselves, as promoters and protectors of well-being. So, yes, you may see your friendly neighborhood R.N. waving a protest sign for a political cause that affects the well-being of the community– more power to her/him. 

(Just to be clear: I’m not talking about bedside nurses engaging in political actions, or god forbid, discrimination, while in the role of direct caregiver. I hope we all agree that at this level, everyone, regardless of politics, should be treated equally. I am talking about nurses as community members, advocating for causes that they feel are important to the health and well-being of the community. Ok? Ok.)