SOUNDBITE: WASHINGTON STATE SENATOR MAUREEN WALSH, SAYING: "If I could ever reel back in a comment, that would be the one." Washington State Senator Maureen Walsh is apologizing for her comment about nurses that sparked widespread outrage.
SOUNDBITE: WASHINGTON STATE SENATOR MAUREEN WALSH, SAYING: "I had been on a 12 hour shift that day when I made that comment and I was tired and exhausted and in retrospect I wish I would've used a little bit better analogy." Walsh made the comment last week while debating a bill on the Senate floor that would mandate breaks for nurses.
She was arguing for an amendment that would exclude small, rural hospitals.
SOUNDBITE: WASHINGTON STATE SENATOR MAUREEN WALSH, SAYING: I would submit to you those nurses probably do get breaks.
They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." In response to her comment, more than 650,000 people signed online petitions -- demanding the state senator shadow a nurse for a 12-hour shift.
SOUNDBITE: NURSE JANE HOPKINS, SAYING: "You save lives, this is what you do every day.
When people come in and they're sick they expect you to be able to look after them and when someone insinuates that they're not doing that, it's very upsetting." SOUNDBITE: WASHINGTON STATE SENATOR MAUREEN WALSH, SAYING: "When I made my comment I was just trying to draw a differentiation between how this policy would apply in a very small critical access hospital in rural Washington versus one of our bigger hospitals because I certainly didn't mean to imply nurses are playing cards all day.
I love nurses." Walsh says her own mother was a nurse..and to make amends for her comment, she says she'd happily take up the challenge to shadow a nurse for the full 12 hour shift.