Discussing politics at work is not always a good topic for conversation. We are warned by our mothers (early) that it is not polite to discuss religion, economy, politics with friends, neighbors, or anyone else. They told us that it was not particularly appropriate to discuss at the dinner table, during social events, or on those “taboo” subjects that were banned in heaven… the church or Date with the opposite sex. So when are you okay? Personally, it’s probably a good idea to discuss your political views with future colleagues.
It may (or may not) make a difference… especially if you’re on the other side of the fence. It can be a problem for some people. I have a friend who has declared that he cannot handle relationships with significant others who did not have the same exact beliefs as theirs, regardless of faith, money, or mayoral voting! Personally, I like “front and back” unless it gets too hot, and really…why should I do it? As for the workplace, my mother never mentioned it. She is a housewife and I thought maybe I would spend my life here. She was wrong. I love my nursing career as much as I love my home and family. I wouldn’t be me without nursing experience. I have learned to care for patients from all walks of life and to understand our differences. I also enjoyed working with many nurses in my career.
I have to admit, we had as many different personalities, habits, and personal beliefs as patients. So why do the conservative and liberal beliefs of the nursing profession seem to separate the two groups so widely? My guess is that nursing unions are more generous. Nurses usually belong to a union. Well enough… but not really. I’m a member of a nursing union, but I think I’m conservative because of my faith. There are certain personal laws that I truly value. An ethically uncompromising law. Other nurses may feel different than mine. Some examples of disagreement range from helping to end a pregnancy to voting for a “public option” healthcare plan. I was working as a nurse in one hospital at night, so I had to intervene between two quarreling nurses.
The two shouted out different views on the current political movement. Both wore favorite candidate buttons (race opponents), which was clearly inappropriate for the nursing unit. I asked them to get rid of their “walking ads”, and then I became the tip of their anger for the rest of the shift. By the next day, political winds were raging, as most people were. The storm will not last. Recently in Minnesota, nurses have come together to vote on a new contract because “safe staffing for patient safety” is the biggest issue. More than 90% of the 12,000 RNs in the state voted for a day strike when the hospital failed to negotiate.
This was the largest nursing strike in US history. Contract negotiations and another vote to approve new contracts eventually lengthened the strike, but gathered for something the nurses eagerly believed across both political boundaries. That was a perfect example. At this time, they continue to work together to ensure patient safety. They are working on the cause. Nurses are amazing, caring professionals when I say that myself! We may sometimes have conflicting personal beliefs, but history shows that despite their differences, our lives have many similar goals. .. We are all committed to the health, well-being and safety of ourselves, our families and our patients. Politics or politics, a nurse is a nurse. Our mother will be proud!
It’s a sequel.