Mum's Life

This nurse's emotional open letter will bring you to tears

The working conditions of Irish nurses have repeatedly been brought into question over the last number of years, specifically regarding the lengthy hours, the shortages in staffing and the lack of pay received.

One Irish nurse wrote a six-part account featuring some of her most moving tales from the hospital, and it's since gone viral.

The emotional toll which the job takes on Maylena McEvoy and her family cannot be underestimated; as nurses prepare to strike on January 30, Maylena has written about why they deserve better pay.

“I’m a nurse. I once sat with an old woman while a consultant told her she had a large suspicious mass on her kidney," she began.

“I robbed desserts from another ward and made her and her daughter tea and closed the curtain around their bed when they cried together.”

She once bought a dressing gown, socks, and pyjamas for an elderly man with end-stage dementia and no family because she could no longer “stand to see him day in and day out with only a hospital gown to his name”.

She added: "I sat and cried with a young mother dying from cancer."

“She had lost her hair and she was skin and bone. Her daughter wouldn't visit her," she wrote.

“She told me her little girl was terrified of her and wanted her old mother back. My heart broke that night and all I could do was hold her.”

“I once bought bottles of Club Orange for a young man dying of an AIDS related illness. He took a long time to die."

“It was very upsetting seeing him towards the end. He died on Christmas Eve and I washed him and laid him out for his family," she recounted.

There have been numerous occasions when she’s feared for her safety while at work.

Ms McEvoy claimed; “I’ve had to dodge kicks, slaps and scrapes. I’ve dealt with abuse from visitors. I’ve fought with doctors on behalf of my patients.

Tales of patients suffering from addiction threatening Maylena and her family were mentioned, as well as a man falling on top of her while pregnant, which must have been terrifying for the nurse.

She finishes up her statement with an emotional plea for the government and public to "please, listen to us when we say we need help. Please stand with us."

The struggles of being a nurse are experienced throughout the healthcare sector; as Maylena states, "all nurses has stories such as these." 

"We do our best but we've had enough." Better pay and working conditions are imperative at this stage.

Only time will tell whether they can achieve any of their workplace improvement proposals following the strike on January 30.

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