“Enough is enough!” Statements of sympathy pour in from nurses in response to suicide of a California nurse

Are you a nurse? We want to hear from you: Tell us about the conditions at your hospital and what you think about this tragedy. Comments will be published anonymously.

Tragedy struck this past week when nurse at Kaiser’s Santa Clara Medical Center died by suicide in the middle of his shift. The struggling nurse, who has yet to be named, shot and killed himself in a supply room in the emergency department where he worked.

Kaiser nurses [Source: OFNHP Facebook]

The suicide occurred as 5,000 nurses at Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital were on strike to demand better working conditions, including mental health services. Four months ago, Stanford travel nurse Michael Odell committed suicide in the middle of his shift.

The World Socialist Web Site has received an outpouring of messages from nurses in response to this tragedy. Together, they paint a picture of the impossible conditions nurses and healthcare workers face on a daily basis.

Travel nurse Ruth told the WSWS, “I have seen entirely too many stories like this. Many nurses including myself want to leave this profession. I am a traveling nurse and I have worked at two facilities where there have been suicides.

“It isn’t just hospitals that are to blame. I work for a travel agency that has consistently been unfair with wages, paying significant less. They started a new policy where you are penalized for requesting a day off during your contract. Even if you work your required hours, they will dock your housing stipends if you request a day off during your contract.

“My mother passed away during my current assignment. I never so much as got a sympathy card, just a reminder that we do not get bereavement leave. A traveler that committed suicide after leaving his shift was employed by my agency and even had the same recruiter. They never even reached out to ask how we were doing. I have also been a victim of nurse bullying. I’ve had many dark days because of it and I suffer from depression. It was reported to management, but they didn’t care. It inevitably in loss of employment after the bullies set me up to fail.

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