Thousands of nurses joined the Occupy Wall Street movement in the District on Thursday, marching in front of the White House and the Treasury Department.
Deidra Beckford, a nurse at the Washington Hospital Center, says she had to get involved. She joined her fellow nurses because of what she sees happening with her patients.
“My patients...patients come in and some of them will skip a day or two of medications in order stretch the money,” Beckford said.
Other nurses described similar stories of seeing patients struggle. Leah Hale is an emergency room nurse and says if the public knew how bad things are for those who are sick, they would be shocked.
“On a daily basis, you almost become deadened to the misery of what you are seeing and coming to a place like this and seeing people who care makes you actually feel it again,” Hale said.
The nurses called for politicians to impose a tax on every stock and bond transaction. Tax Wall Street, they say, and help those who are working hard to make ends meet.
“I am a nurse and I have to work 60 hours to make ends meet. I have four children and three of them are in college. It's taking so much,” said Lauren Donahue.
“I think it's terrible that a great country like the United States is in this situation and it's all because of Wall Street's greed,” said Pat Washington.
“People are losing their jobs and they can't find jobs and that's when we said we need to get involved,” Karen Higgins agreed.
The nurses marched to McPherson Square, where they joined with the protesters camped out at the Occupy D.C. camp.