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Maria Etkin​​​​​​​: ‘Let’s put aside all of the negativity’

  • Lawn signs both for and against ballot Question 1. FILE PHOTO


Friday, November 09, 2018
‘Let’s put aside all of the negativity’

I am writing this letter on the night that we were defeated in our attempts to pass with a “yes” vote on Question 1 about staffing ratios. We nurses saw this as an opportunity to improve the care that we provide to our patients. Many comments were made in opposition to what we felt was a better, safer way to give all patients the care that we wanted to provide. The best care as the signs around Cooley Dickinson Hospital state.

I have been a bedside nurse in the hospital for 31 years and have seen many changes in the hospital setting and the staffing levels. Good and bad changes. The feelings that I have at this time are a sadness, not over the loss of a “yes” vote, but the way that the issue was presented to the public and in my eyes was not understood by the public (voters). Many negative ads won out over the real issue at hand which was that a nurse just wants to be able to devote the time necessary to respond to patients in the fastest, safest and best way we can. We feel that our patients need to know that we will always be there for them.

There is no vote or law that will stop us from being who we decided to be when we chose to help people and decided on a career in nursing. I feel strongly that we are providing the best that we can given the staffing that we have no matter what. Let’s put aside all of the negativity and debate now that the votes have been cast. We are still one body of people in the hospital and we all have one intention whether we are administrators, doctors, nurses, housekeepers or any other ancillary staff that work with us, and that is to provide a healing, safe, clean environment that people in our community can rely on in their times of need.

Please don’t believe all that you heard in the ads. We are here for you, and we will work hard to improve things to stay strong in our commitments to make it better for all of our patients and our staff. I don’t feel that I need time to heal from this experience; lessons were learned here, and I for one will be striving to work towards being part of the change that we seek. 

Maria Etkin
Easthampton