Henderson, NV -- Taking part in SEIU’s program to ensure that presidential candidates experience firsthand what life is like for working people in America, yesterday Sen. Hillary Clinton “walked a day in the shoes” of SEIU member Michelle Estrada. Clinton joined Estrada on the medical/surgical unit as she completed her rounds as a registered nurse at St. Rose Dominican Hospitals – Siena Campus in Henderson, Nevada.
After work, Estrada and Clinton traveled to Estrada’s home where they had dinner with Estrada’s three children – Amy, 18; Jacob, 16; and Aaron, 11. Amy is heading to college in the fall in Oregon and plans to follow in her mother’s footsteps by becoming a registered nurse.
“To me, the most important message for any presidential candidate is that our health care system is failing the very people it’s meant to help,” said Estrada. “At my hospital, nurses have come together on the job to make a difference for our patients by setting standards for safe staffing. But too many nurses don’t have a voice in their hospitals, and they’re leaving the profession because of conditions at the bedside. Health care has to be the top priority for the next president.”
Estrada has been in nursing for 26 years, seven of them at St. Rose.
“I think that as a result of our time together, Senator Clinton has a better understanding of the energy and hard work it takes to care for patients for 12 hours and then come home to raise a family. I’d welcome her back on the job any time,” Estrada said.
SEIU members are inviting all candidates for president, Democrats and Republicans, to experience firsthand what their lives are like by “walking a day in their shoes.” Sen. Edwards, Gov. Richardson, Sen. Dodd and Sen. Obama have all walked in SEIU members’ shoes and Sen. Biden and Gov. Huckabee will have done so by the end of the summer.
Video and photographs of Senator Clinton on the job with Estrada can be viewed at www.WalkADayInMyShoes2008.com .