Experiencing the Fair

I wish I could take you along for a trip to the Upper Peninsula State Fair. It’s better experienced than read about. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is MNA’s second year as a sponsor of the fair. It’s anyone’s guess at this point whether there will be a U.P. State Fair next year since the state is no longer funding it. We hope so!

MNA took on two different roles while we were in Escanaba – providers of continuing education and exhibitors at the fair itself. We worked the Wellness Fair (mostly for seniors) on Wednesday and Ladies Day on Thursday. Any time you have non-nurses working the booth and wearing MNA attire is fun.

“Are you a nurse?”
“No, I’m not.”
“Oh. Because if you were a nurse I was going to ask you about this spot on my arm . . . ”

“I don’t like nurses.”
“Why not?
“If I’m near a nurse, it means I’m in the hospital.”

“Would you be interested in signing a card in support of legislation that would make sure there are enough nurses for patients . . .”
“Oh, G–, yes!”

“Angels of mercy, that’s what nurses are.”

One of the most interesting discussions we had with fair goers was explaining the difference between overtime and mandatory overtime. Many of the people who stopped by were confused – why would we be encouraging nurses to turn down overtime pay in a depressed economy? Once we explained the difference, people readily signed postcards showing their support for HB 4008.

We did take in some of the sights and sounds of the fair, although I was not able to get any co-workers to go on the rides. We avoided the temptations of fair food (although it smelled great) and admired two of the Budweiser Clydesdales who were waiting for their teammates to get back from Manistique for a Friday show. We saw pigs and cows and Oscar the Robot and the exhibitor tent – it was the full fair experience!

Over 60 people attended CE in the U.P. on Thursday morning – an excellent turnout! Those in the audience were treated to the first showing of the new palliative care continuing education module, plus sessions on women’s health, lateral violence and current legislation.

We were asked by the nurses at CE in the U.P. — “Will you be back next year if there isn’t a state fair?” The answer — yes, indeed. And hopefully it will be for the new UP State Fair!

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