Poem by Claire Tinnion, a student nurse at Oxford Brookes University
The pride I feel to nurse is one like no other,
Caring for your daughter, husband or mother.
Rushing around from dusk until dawn,
Loving others when they are broken and torn.
I nurse people from birth until death,
Nursing them at their worst, back to their best.
I get screamed and shouted at, punched and hit.
But this is a vocation I will never quit.
Bodily fluids don’t scare me away,
drug rounds and IVs are just part of my day.
I always arrive early and normally finish late,
When I’m caring for my patients, my family have to wait.
I get home at night and think about you,
Trying to think of what else I could do.
The media displays nurses as people of error,
Something that fills the public with terror.
But if they really knew what our day details,
How kind my colleagues are, how we strive not to fail.
This isn’t a job like they have ever known,
We care for our patients when they are alone.
Offer a hand to hold or a cup of tea,
Holistically thinking, what else could they need.
We nurse because we love it and we genuinely care,
Putting our lives on hold to help your friends live theirs.
Colleagues from Africa, Spain and Portugal and so many other places,
All of these nurses show empathy and kind and caring faces.
Nurses are the some of the most hard working people you could ever hope to meet,
How many of your friends at work spend 15 hours on their feet?
So next time you see us please don’t scrutinise,
You see only what we do in front of your eyes.
You’re telling me you’re in terrible pain.
Not coping with your daily struggles and strains,
I want to remove your pain and fear.
Trust me, when I say that I really want to hear.
But the bell rings out, I say I’ll be right back.
I’m sorry in the meantime a patient had a heart attack.
Twenty minutes have passed and you’re getting agitated,
I’m sweating doing CPR, the patient is sedated.
It’s not fair on you to sit and wait I know,
But we are keeping this patient alive, not letting them let go.
Our time is so precious and so are you,
We only want to help - that I know is true.
Everything we do requires decision and delegation,
Inside every day is both joy and frustration.
Because people is our passion and caring is who we are,
The happiness we feel to see a wound form a scar.
We ignore the aching feet and cracked hands galore.
All we want to do is make you better, and then try and do more.
Then when it’s a patient’s turn to die, we don’t leave them or forget,
Company and compassion is just part of the care they get.
This is why I love to nurse, why I feel so much pride.
To help other people in such crucial moments in their lives.
I’m only human, of course I get upset.
But every day I’m striving, to be the best nurse I’ve been yet.
Claire Tinnion is in her first year studying adult nursing at Oxford Brookes University