Playing cards all day? UT Nurse says 'no way'

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A senator's comments toward nurses is sparking outrage across the country. Washington Senator Maureen Walsh argued this week that nurses in some hospitals should not have uninterrupted breaks during their shifts.

"We always seem to have full, busy days here," said nurse Melody Torin. Nurses at UT Medical Center work 12-hour shifts. "I usually get here around 6:30 in the morning and leave anywhere between 7:30 or 8 at night."

Torin is a team leader nurse who typically cares for five or six patients each day.

"You are emotionally, physically, mentally drained by the end of the day. It takes everything to take care of these patients," she said. "We try to take our lunch break but a lot of times it's not an uninterrupted lunch. You'll try to grab a quick bite and a doctor is on the phone for you or a patients lab that come back critical and you need to assess your patient so you never really get to sit and enjoy your full lunch."

In a recent Gallup Poll, Americans voted nurses highest for honesty and ethics for the 17th year in a row.

"My favorite part of the job is when you get really close to a patient and you are the one who makes a difference," said Torin.

Senator Walsh has since apologized for what she said and promised to spend a day shadowing a nurse.