In my book, Poems For You and Your Neighbour- Health Disorders Simplified, Poem I is entitled VACANCY: Nurse Wanted. This poem was written after reading an article entitled, “Qualities of a good nurse”. It serves as a reminder to me, all of my colleagues and nursing students, of the demands of this nursing profession and of the ideals to which we should always aspire to achieve on a daily basis.
This recollection takes me back to an encounter I had with a then nursing student. Being short staffed is an all too familiar description of staffing needs both here and in many other parts of the world. So when nursing students are assigned to the wards their presence complements the staffing, and makes the work of the day lighter for everyone. Teamwork can really be demonstrated when there are more members on the team. On this particular day, after lunch was over, the 6-2 shift nurses had left and the 7-3 shift had the responsibility of giving over to the evening (2-10) shift. There were only two RN’s present, my senior and myself. However we had student nurses. Our ward was a surgical ward. Patients who were taken to theatre were awaiting their return to the ward post- operatively. When the call came through to collect one of our patients, I was in the midst of serving medication, while the other RN was writing the ward report. One of the nursing students was asked to collect the patient and this was part of the response given, “Could you ask someone else, I am tired. I did ‘realll’ work yesterday”. I had to stop her at this point. I couldn’t believe the words coming out of her mouth. It probably would have settled easier if she had just said she was tired, but when the reason and comparison of the previous day’s work was made I had to question her motivation for choosing nursing. Who tell me do this, because she then put on her hat of disrespect and asked, “If I think is a ‘lil’ girl I talking to”, among other things. I always heard nurses say that they would never help a student nurse and I used to think that since we were all students at one point in time, then how could they say that. This I think is how that statement could be made. For a while I was incensed by the attitude and behaviour she displayed, but then I thought when the shoe is on the other foot, she’ll see. Putting the encounter aside, I took up my post-op box and walked my seven-month-old pregnant self to retrieve the patient. Her clinical supervisors were informed. NB: this is a summarised version.
In the words of Donna Wilk Cardillo, “Nursing is not for everyone. It takes a very strong, intelligent and compassionate person to take on the ills of the world with passion and purpose, and work to maintain the health and well being of the planet. No wonder we’re exhausted at the end of the day!”. It is here that I urge those who are considering nursing as a profession to find out all you can about it. Then search deep within to determine if it’s your calling.
“Life dignity and the rights of humans must be respected,
Regardless of the differences to which we are subjected.
Submit your application after you have searched within,
No later than, at the time of your calling.”
Excerpt taken from Poems For You and Your Neighbour- Health Disorders Simplified
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Amanda Jones is a proficient nurse writer. She uses her passion for poetry writing, to educate, encourage and empower her readers where there is health is concerned. Amanda has published four books :- 1)Poems for You & Your Neighbour- Health Disorders Simplified 2)Poems for Patients-A Focus on Diabetes 3)The ABCs of Diabetes for Children 4)Children, It’s Time To Meet Your Teeth She is also a songwriter,and mother of two exuberant boys.
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