Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

National Nurses United Supports The Occupy Wall Street Movement

Lillian Wald was a famous nurse activist and writer. She’s my role model. Lillian stood up for the little guy by providing health care to the poor, and she advocated for social justice during the Gilded Age. For those of you who may not know, the Gilded Age was a time of great wealth for a fortunate few in America. You might call these people the original 1%. Wall Street bankers and robber barons were buying politicians and running amok while building vast fortunes off the backs of the working poor. Sound familiar? It’s funny how history has a way of repeating itself.

I believe that Lillian Wald, the founder of public health nursing, would support the Wall Street Occupation if she were alive today. Lillian didn’t wring her hands when someone needed help. She got her hands dirty. I bet she would be encamped with the protesters, caring for the sick and blogging about Occupy Wall Street events. Nurses working the frontlines at the Occupy Wall Street protest rallies report that many people who come to the first aid tents, set up by National Nurses United, do not have basic health care coverage. Many are homeless and unemployed, and are in search of social justice. I know that a lot of people cringe when they hear that term. “Good God,” they gasp. “Social justice is code for Socialism.” Really? Lillian was all about social justice and I’m sure that she wouldn’t see anything wrong with people having a decent job, food, and a place to live. I’m also sure that Lillian would support the actions of NNU. The NNU has been protesting the financial industry’s role in the nation’s economic meltdown even before the advent of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Wall Street companies are buying up hospitals and gutting them for profit at the expense of patients, so the NNU is calling for a one-percent tax on Wall Street transactions that would fund new health care initiatives in addition to keeping other programs like Medicare off the chopping block.

Lillian said that reform could be accomplished only when attitudes change. It’s time to change some attitudes, kick some butt, and put an end to this new gilded age.

Encamped nurses are bracing for what’s to come. They expect inclement weather, a flu outbreak among protesters, and the arrest of more nurses. Despite these hardships, nurses stand firm with protesters. Please visit the NNU webpage and see how you can help this historic movement.

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »