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Nurse uses cake to quit job at Western State Hospital

Nurse uses cake to quit job at Western State Hospital. (KOMO)

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (KOMO) - It was a vanilla cake. Yes, it was from Walmart. No, she didn't get a slice.

And Sara Childers is just fine with that.

The now-former nurse at Western State Hospital had a cake delivered to Forensics Ward 2 last Thursday. In sugary confection decoration, she wrote "Swing shift: I (heart) you!"

Then under a line, she wrote "Western State Hospital: I QUIT!!!" and signed her name, noting it was an "official notice."

"I kind of just wanted to laugh with everybody again when I left," Childers said.

The nurse said she came from Wyoming to work at Western State and only lasted seven months on the job. Worries and concerns mounted almost immediately.

"It's such a large institution. It could do so much so good, but it's just one of the worst places right now," she said.

Childers said staff aren't properly supported by quality training and claims management focuses a lot of time and attention on writing up mistakes and punishments. Low pay and long hours have driven away some employees.

"How do we control the population with such little staff and so many patients? And you can't have individualized treatment that way," Childers said.

She said her former coworkers enjoyed the goofy goodbye, even if it underscores the serious problems still waiting to be fixed inside Western.

"I'm not the kind of person who is going to shut up and I'm not the kind of person who's going to not do anything," Childers said.

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