Pat Ventura, a retired nurse and proud member of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, AFT (WFNHP) who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, was peacefully protesting Trump policies outside President Trump’s speech in Kenosha last Tuesday, when her nursing skills and experience were needed.
When a Trump supporter collapsed nearby, Pat sprang into action with another nurse, accessing the man, contacting his family and letting him know that emergency services were on the way.
“Nursing and kindness come first and politics comes second,” said Pat. “As a nurse and proud retired member of WFNHP I am always ready to help out if someone needs it. I was there voicing my concerns with others from the neighborhood when someone said, ‘Pat, someone is in the street there, he just fell.’ I said, ‘here hold my sign’ and I just ran. There was another nurse there and some police officers. We told him not to move and said the rescue squad was on their way. Together, we just supported the man. He needed help, it doesn’t matter who he votes for.”
Candice Owley, R.N., President of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals, praised Ventura’s quick response and called for universal health care for all, “Nurse Ventura knows that health care should never be a partisan fight because it is a basic human right. Time for Representative Paul Ryan and all of Congress to take their lead from nurses and stand up for the right of everyone to have universal health care regardless of politics or party.”
“I thought if President Trump was coming to Kenosha, I wanted to go and express my displeasure with his policies” explained Ventura, on why she was motivated to attend the rally in Kenosha. “My issues are affordable health care, I believe everyone deserves that. And immigration is near and dear to my heart; both of my brothers have adopted children and stepchildren from the US as well as from foreign countries. I am concerned that this administration tends to lump everyone from a foreign country into a negative category like a saying they are drug dealers. That is simply not true. Foreign-born people have families, jobs here, my own nieces and nephews are college graduates and productive members of our community.”
Born and raised in Kenosha, Tuesday was not the first time that the UW-Oshkosh College of Nursing graduate answered an off-duty call to help a Wisconsinite in need. “I think it is something that is deep-seated in us as health professionals,” says Ventura.
Ventura recalled a time when she was cross-country skiing after working the night shift as a new nurse and saw a man fall over in the park. “He was down and not breathing. Another person came and we performed CPR on this man. I later even received a letter from the local police chief thanking me,” recalled Ventura.
As a former public health nurse in the city of Milwaukee, Ventura performed home visits to new families, delivering the birth certificate and checking in with families and babies. “I remember standing on a porch talking to a mom with her new baby, we were having a conversation and all of a sudden I heard screaming and it was a woman standing on her porch shouting ‘my baby, my baby.’ I ran across the street, asked what happened and could right away tell the baby was struggling to breath. The mother explained the baby had crawled into her purse and might have swallowed something. I did what I had to do to get the baby breathing well again using the American Red Cross Technique for choking infants and got the object removed.”
In route to another home visit, Ventura recalls hearing what sounded like a car backfiring. “I was at a red light. I looked over and saw that someone had just been shot, I saw the man fall. I went around the block and grabbed my public health bag. I heard sirens in the background and knew ambulances were on their way. I stayed with the young man, accessed his injuries and reassured him help was coming.”
Pat Ventura is just one example of what union members in our community do each and every day. Union members provide essential services that make our communities better, safer and stronger and proudly answer the call when their community needs them most.