by Rachel Hanneman, RN
Being a nurse these days is unrelenting. The expectation to multitask has long since been normalized as an expectation and, as family demands continue to mount, finding “extra” time for additional hobbies shrinks like your favorite jeans in the dryer.
Between working full time, parenting two young children with busy activities, and trying to maintain a work-life balance of personal needs, the request to volunteer seemed downright illogical to me. Asking me to commute to the MNA office to phone bank and be back in time to pick my kids up from the bus stop while spending money on gas? In this economy?
Fortunately, some of the changes necessitated by COVID remain in place today—specifically virtual productivity.
I’ve been performing almost all of my MNA duties from the comfort of my own home. I can likely count the number of times I’ve left the house on one hand, and I still feel as if I’m effective. Since I began my involvement with the union back in August 2021, I did everything virtually.
My first steps into this role were done via Zoom. I testified for the state legislature in my dining room, one screen with my writings and one screen with the camera. As soon as I finished, I was able to turn off my camera and avoid all eye contact and decompress with privacy.
I do monthly meetings with GAC through Zoom as I optimize multitasking and even now, I continue to expand my involvement. I’ve been routinely assisting with MNA phone banks—organized efforts to make MNA nurses aware of nurse-endorsed candidates who prioritize nurses and safe patient care in their campaigns.
Recently the need to unite and mobilize has been undeniable. Nurses are notable for our efforts at picket lines, but we are not as famous for our impact at the ballot box. We proved our worth in 2020 at the bedside, and we continue to prove ourselves time and time again.
This time, let’s take the opportunity to make waves with our feet up. We’ve earned it (written from my aforementioned couch).
To volunteer at a phonebank or door knock for the upcoming elections, please visit https://nursescarenursesvote.com/get-involved/ or contact MNA Political Organizer, Cameron Fure, at 651.252.5028 (call/text) or at Cameron.Fure@mnnurses.org.