Nurses and Legislators: “Getting Out of Medical Centrism”

6,293. This is the number of candidates running in the parliamentary elections on 12 and 19 June next time. And contrary to what one might think, so strongly is the reputation of depoliticizing nurses, there are many representatives of the profession among these aspiring deputies. Thus, of the eight outgoing nurses (all from the presidential majority), six are running for re-election. But there are also all these candidates, from all political tendencies, who have never been elected and who want to bring the voice of the nursing staff to the Palais-Bourbon. What is their background? What are their ambitions?

To better know these nurses who, beginners or seasoned, have chosen to mow the landscape, interviewed three of them, starting with Sereine Mauborgne, liberal nurse (Idel) and outgoing deputy (presidential majority) in Var. After a first term in the Defense Committee, she wanted to see herself back in the ranks, standing again in front of the electorate.

During the five years you have just been in the congregation, have you been able to practice your nursing profession?

Not in the first two years: I had sold my shares in the company I practiced in. But I resumed an activity at the time of the health crisis, in March 2020. For ten weeks I was an occasional partner in the public service, available to the CEO for Paca’s Regional Health Agency, where I was particularly concerned with elected officials. I also supported the creation of the CPTS (Territorial Professional Health Communities), which emerged during the crisis. Subsequently, I made freelance replacements, I got vaccinations, I worked at the hospital, especially as part of the white plan this winter …

If you are re-elected, do you intend to continue these interventions?

Yes, during my vacation periods, because there are a lot of replacement issues, especially in my constituency. Even though it is for the coming summer period, I still reserve my answer because the legislative activity is likely to be very sustained.

In your opinion, what was your added value as a caregiver at the meeting during your term of office?

I would first like to point out that if there have been so many nurses in our parliamentary group, it is because Emmanuel Macron had wanted a feminization of deputies and an opening to civil society. I think we have succeeded in representing nurses in their diversity, and in particular in succeeding in making our medical colleagues understand that we need to get out of medical centrism. Interprofessional cooperation was still almost a swear word in the mouths of certain deputies at the start of the election period. Today we are talking about nurses, nurses and not just doctors. I think we also managed to be an entrance for our IDE colleagues in the Assembly: we were the first to talk about promoting advanced practice, recognizing the central role of the nurse, and so on. Finally, we provided technical support to our non-medical MP colleagues, who were challenged by nurses in the field.

Do you have any regrets?

There are certain topics that we had pushed in 2018 during the preparation of “My Health 2022” and which we did not manage to advance sufficiently. I believe that we can better use the Idels competencies to carry out specialist consultations, in telecommunications expertise and in support of doctors, e.g. in areas with a lack of resources. Moreover, death certificates are still not open to nurses, the medical profession has really put a speaker in the wheels on this subject, whereas there are dramatic situations, bodies staying for hours while waiting to find a professional who agrees to come and do the certificate .

Would you say that nurses care about some of the crisis preparedness that the health service is currently experiencing, for example in the emergency room?

They have part of the answer, but they are overwhelmed. There is a shortage of doctors, but also a shortage of nurses, forcing us to close medicine beds and causing a shortage of downstream beds, and therefore further traffic jams in the emergency room … It is the snake that bites its tail!

Can we not think that this sad situation is part of the results of the five-year period?

Given the state the hospital was in when we arrived, we should not be surprised to see that the measures take time to bear fruit: the debt repurchase, the investment, the strengthening of the workforce in Ifsi, all this is nothing and will give effects. But I’m not the type to put my handkerchief on the issues, I look at them with seriousness and commitment, and that’s one of the reasons I want nurses to continue to sit in the assembly.

Interview by Adrien Renaud

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