Last year, a patient I was caring for, handed me a piece of folded paper towel. As he gave it to me, he said it was just something that had been floating around in his head and he needed to get it out. I was suprised and immensely honoured by what I read. This is what he had written:-
They never really liked us
When we called the place ‘The John’
But we have it, and we love it,
And we’ve claimed it as our own.
It must have come from Heaven,
And landed here when new
For it’s full of little angels,
The nurses, dressed in blue.
They must be God’s own angels,
For they’re loving, and they’re kind.
And no matter what may happen,
They never seem to mind.
For they’ll tend you, and they’ll mend you,
Till you’re once again anew.
They are God’s own blue angels,
The nurses clothed in blue.
You may roam the whole world over,
See cities rich and grand,
Go ‘strolling down the Broadway’
Or wander up the Strand.
But you’ll come back home to Hunter,
God’s country, that is true.
Back to his band of angels,
Our angels clothed in blue.
I know some might not be comfortable with the ‘nurses as angels’ analogy, but this patient had been through a life threatening and changing situation, and he still had some major challenges in front of him. If thinking of the nurses as angels bought him comfort and solace, then it can’t be that bad.
I typed the poem for him and gave him a copy. I told him how much we were all touched by his words and he gave me permission to share it. I emailed a copy to my NUM and DON, and printed copies for our tea room. Then, this International Nurse’s Day, our DON gave each ward a gift – a printed book filled with compliments the hospital and nurses had recieved, including this poem. Unfortunately, the patient’s name has not been published in the book, and as such, to maintain his privacy, I have not named him.
I still have the original poem on the piece of paper towel. It’s laminated and hanging on my fridge. His words remind me everyday of why I do this job and why I am always proud to say I am a nurse.