Tag Archives: Nursing

The Reverend Tell It Like It is

Charlie Chaplain’s Tales

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I went to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle yesterday to pick up my German daughter-in-law, who had been there all day with her mother .  She was there to  keep her mother company and to act as an interpreter, as mum’s English is limited.

I had heard earlier in the day that my daughter-in-law’s  English  was commented upon and criticised by a staff nurse on the ward.

So, I arrived at the nurses’ station where there were about four nurses, an auxiliary, the charge nurse and the clerkess.

I mentioned to them that one of their colleagues had been judgmental in what she had done and that it was verging on racism.  “Oh no, never” they protesteth.

I then told them that I worked for another NHS Board (didn’t say in what capacity) and that I taught our student nurses to be respectful of those whose grammar or accent wasn’t the norm, never to correct or criticise or patronise

One of the nurses then jumped in with “I’m foreign (unspecified) and if it hadn’t been for others correcting my English, I would never have learned”

Now Daniel was in the lions’ den, but simply replied that where I came from the standards were perhaps different and then bid them a good evening.

As I’ve got a voice which is a bit hoarse at the moment, all the above comments must have sounded like a quiet venomous hiss.

Guess what?  for the hour or so we had to wait for  mum to be discharged, they were very pleasant!

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Who I am – The Nurse’s Response

"Old age (?)" - Unknown Painter from...

“Old age (?)” – Unknown Painter from the Low Countries (16th century) (Photo credit: Tilemahos Efthimiadis)

What do we see, you ask, what do we see?
Yes, we are thinking when looking at thee!
We may seem to be hard when we hurry and fuss,
But there’s many of you, and too few of us.
We would like far more time to sit by you and talk,
To bath you and feed you and help you to walk.
To hear of your lives and the things you have
done;
Your childhood, your husband, your daughter, and
your son.
But time is against us, there’s too much to do –
Patients too many, and nurses too few.
We grieve when we see you so sad and alone,
With nobody near you, no friends of your own.
We feel all your pain, and know of your fear
That nobody cares now your end is so near.
But nurses are people with feelings as well,
And when we’re together you’ll often hear tell
Of the dearest old Gran in the very end bed,
And the lovely old Dad, and the things that he
said,
We speak with compassion and love, and feel sad
When we think of your lives and the joy that
you’ve had.
When the time has arrived for you to depart,
You leave us behind with an ache in our heart.
When you sleep the long sleep, no more worry or
care,
There are other old people, and we must be there.
So please understand if we hurry and fuss –
There are many of you, and too few of us.

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Who I am

Who I am

When an old lady died in the Geriatric Ward of Ashludie Hospital near Dundee,  it appeared that she had left nothing of value. The nurses, in going through her possessions, found a poem. The quality of the poem so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. When one of the nurses moved to nursing geriatric patients in Briad Valley Hospital in Ireland, she took her copy with her and the poem appeared in a Christmas edition of the Beacon House News, the magazine for Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health. This then was the lady’s bequest to posterity

What do you see, nurses, what do you see? Are you thinking, when you look at me – A crabbit old woman, not very wise, Uncertain of habit, with far-away eyes, Who dribbles her food and makes no reply, When you say in a loud voice — “I do wish you’d try.”

Who seems not to notice the things that you do, And forever is losing a stocking or shoe, Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will, With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill. Is that what you’re thinking, is that what you see? Then open your eyes, nurse, you’re looking at ME… I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still; As I rise at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I’m a small child of ten with a father and mother, Brothers and sisters, who love one another, A young girl of sixteen with wings on her feet. Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet; A bride soon at twenty — my heart gives a leap, Remembering the vows that I promised to keep; At twenty-five now I have young of my own, Who need me to build a secure, happy home; A woman of thirty, my young now grow fast, Bound to each other with ties that should last; At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone, But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn; At fifty once more babies play ’round my knee, Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead, I look at the future, I shudder with dread, For my young are all rearing young of their own, And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known; I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel – ‘Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart, There is now a stone where once I had a heart, But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells, And now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain, And I’m loving and living life over again, I think of the years, all too few — gone too fast, And accept the stark fact that nothing can last – So I open your eyes, nurses, open and see, Not a crabbit old woman, look closer, nurses — see ME!

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July 3, 2013 · 10:54