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E. Liverpool hospital should pay its heroes

DEAR EDITOR:

One of the most monumental figures in my life is my Auntie Mar. I was the youngest of five and was being raised by a single mother. Auntie Mar was a superhero to me, helping buy school clothes for five kids, sending cards for every holiday and taking us to the movies. My superhero was also a nurse.

Auntie Mar retired as a registered nurse after 46 years. Now my sister and I are nurses. Some of my best friends are nurses.

Nurses are deemed the “most trusted profession” for 18 years in a row now. I have worked in Columbiana and Mahoning counties as an RN for five years and my sister for almost 10.

It does not take a 46-year career in nursing to realize how much we are unappreciated — always understaffed, overworked and underpaid. This is common banter for any nurse.

Nurses are real in a sense that they are with human beings during the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Whether in the delivery room delivering a healthy baby boy or in the SICU consoling a mother who lost her 16-year-old son, nurses are there.

East Liverpool City Hospital / Prime Healthcare needs to pay its nurses. We feel and live 12 hours of our day in experiencing total selflessness for others. During this pandemic, more than 200 nurses have died from COVID-19. With the pandemic worsening, it is essential for local hospitals to be equipped to handle medical needs of their communities.

East Liverpool City Hospital is essential to its community. It was essential beyond measure during the peak of the opioid crisis that affected this area harder than anywhere else in the world, and now during this COVID-19 pandemic.

East Liverpool City Hospital is essential, but what is more essential is its nurses, the heartbeat of the hospital, nurses who live in this community, who want to see it do better and who want to be paid for what they are worth.

The most “unsung hero” profession demands better staffing, higher pay and restrictions on mandatory overtime. It is the most trusted profession in the world putting its members’ lives at risk to care for others during this pandemic, not hospital administrators. It was nurses saving citizens during the opioid crisis, not hospital administrators. It is nurses who are the backbone of health care in America, not hospital administrators.

Stand up for what is essential to your community and support the ELCH Nurses Association Local 5903.

PAMELA “PIPPY” PIERCE, MSN, FNP-BC

Lisbon

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