Community Issues

Heroes In Scrubs: Nurses Rush From Hospital Shifts To Help Injured Protestors

Healthcare workers are doing double-duty tending to Covid patients and offering medical assistance to protestors.

Imagine being a nurse today. After a 12-hour shift of helping patients infected with Covid, you rush to the aid of people who have been injured during protests.

Sounds incredible, right?

That's just what nurses from all around the country are doing as some of the nationwide protests have erupted into violence, causing panic and chaos in towns like Minneapolis and New York City.

People have been sharing photos and videos to Twitter of healthcare workers wearing their scrubs in the streets and carrying backpacks full of medical supplies should anyone need their assistance. They've been seen pouring milk on the faces of those who have been shot with pepper spray and cleaning wounds caused from rubber bullets.

Sadly, some of the nurses have had some scary experiences.

A nurse in Minneapolis reported that while she was tending to a patient who had been hit by a rubber bullet in the leg, the police started firing at the medic tent, forcing her to run for safety.

"I was trying to look at the wound and they were shooting at us," the nurse, who did not share her name, told WCCO-4. The wounded man tried to protect her with a garbage can, she said, but eventually, she decided to leave. "I told him I wouldn't leave him, but I did. I feel so bad. They were shooting. I was scared," she said through her tears.

Other healthcare workers have posted to social media about organizations that are offering free medical assistance to any protesters who are injured.

The National Nurses Union, the largest nurses' union in the nation, also issued a statement in support of the protests.

"Nurses know that racism is a public health crisis, whether in societal practices that have contributed to the disproportionate COVID-19 deaths of African Americans or the deaths of African Americas at the hands of police. It is incumbent on all of us to work for systemic change," Nurses United President Jean Ross, a resident of Minnesota, said in a statement.

Nurses have been making themselves visible to protestors who may need medical assistance. @nursealexiss

Nurses, especially nurses of color, who have joined the protestors have said that even with the risks involved, it's important to speak out about racial inequality.

"I just feel like it's too important to not show up for," Anna Marie Ruiz, a critical care nurse in central Texas, told Buzzfeed News. "I feel like it's about me fighting for my rights, my partner's rights, my father's rights, my brother's rights, my friends' rights. It's everybody's fight to me."

Nurse Anna Marie Ruiz joined the protests, despite the health risks. National Black Nurses Association/Facebook

To show their support virtually, nurses have been sharing tips online for protestors to help keep themselves, and those around them, safe.

While nurses rushing to the aid of injured people is nothing new, we think it's incredible that these brave nurses are working twice as hard to keep people safe during this chaotic time. In our minds, healthcare workers are the ultimate heroes!

How can you start something good?

If you're a nurse or healthcare professional, you might consider sharing resources that will help keep people safe; whether it's to prevent the spread of Covid-19, or getting people the help they need if they get injured at a protest.

If you know a nurse, you can show your support by providing meals, or giving them a self-care package. You can offer to care for their kids, or run errands for them if needed.

One of the easiest things you can do to show your appreciation for healthcare workers is to say Thank you. Your gesture could make all the difference in the world.

Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

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