"Angles in Scrubs"

Recently, nurses and caregivers at Danbury Hospital held an informal picket line in front of the healthcare facility to draw attention to their intolerable working conditions as Danbury Hospital Nurses Union Unit 47 is negotiating a new contract with the hospital owner, Nuvance Health.

By Al Robinson - Hatcityblog.com

To say that I have rather extensive experience with hospital care and the healthcare industry would be an understatement.

In the last decade, I have lost a significant number of loved ones and close friends to various forms of cancer. From lung cancer, brain cancer, and pancreatic cancer to cancer of the bile duct (cholangiocarcinoma) and breast cancer, I've witnessed countless individuals courageously battle about every form of cancer imaginable. 

While I will forever live with the grief and heart-wrenching sadness from the decade of cancer experience in which my loved ones struggled, endured, and eventually succumbed to their terminal illness, there is one thing about this horrific episode in my life that brings me solace: the level of fantastic care my loved ones received from nurses whom I describe as, "angels in scrubs."

Nurses are the bedrock of health care. They are profoundly benevolent and play a pivotal role in providing vital services and support to patients and their supporters. Unfortunately, the critical level of care people receive from nurses comes with a physical and psychological cost. 

A nursing prerequisite involves having a thick skin and the ability to handle inadequate working conditions that most people would never tolerate.

From handling unimaginable and stressful conditions to working exhausting shifts that can stretch to over twelve hours, the life of a nurse can be highly stressful, often with little support from their administrators. The problems in the workplace have only increased to unimaginable levels since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Testimony from registered nurse Amanda Hutchins Warren on the union's website details what caregivers at Danbury Hospital currently endure: "[A]s nurses, we knew long before COVID-19 that patients' healing environments and health professionals' working conditions had been deteriorating. Then came the pandemic. For nearly three years, we've seen unprecedented challenges. We are physically and emotionally exhausted from trying to care for those for whose health and safety we are responsible under impossible conditions."

Simply put, nurses at Danbury Hospital deserve better working conditions, and the public, who rely on these dedicated caregivers in their time of need, should stand in solidarity with and support the "angles in scrubs."