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'Twas the night before Christmas, and here on the ward...


In my last blog before Christmas, I wanted to spare a thought for all of the nurses and health care staff who are working over the festive period.

I appreciate for most of us becoming a nurse means signing up for a 365 days a year job and someone has to work on Christmas day and at New Year.

However, it must be difficult to be away from your own family and friends at this time and I imagine the anxious wait for the rota to appear can be stressful.

But there are some upsides to working at Christmas –just think of the overtime pay and a valid excuse not to cook! Most importantly the patients and their families appreciate having nurses there to care for them especially on a day when they wish they were at home celebrating too.

I’m really looking forward to having time off university at Christmas and I value it all the more when I consider that others are working.

Next year, when I qualify, it will be me waiting for the rota showing my shifts. Even if inside I feel like work is the last place I want to be, I hope I can stay positive for the patients, spur on my team and contribute towards making the Christmas period happy and special wherever I am.

I have written this poem adapted from Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ as a bit of fun. (I am a novice poet!)

Merry Christmas!


Twas the night before Christmas
And here on the ward
The names of three children
Adorn the white board

Too ill to go home
But can’t get to sleep
The monitors flash,
The alarms buzz and beep.

‘Will Santa Claus find us?’
The youngest child says.
Fixing the nurse with a
blithe, hopeful gaze.

‘Of course he will find you’
The nurse brightly said.
‘As long as you’re sleeping
All tucked up in bed’

The three little children
Drifted off one-by-one.
The nurses stayed busy
Much work to be done.

Then just after midnight
An almighty thump!
That shocked all the nurses
And made each one jump.

A face in the door camera
Suddenly peered
An old man with reindeer
Was straightening his beard

‘Can you let me in?
I must hurry you see’
The Sister said ‘fine’.
‘But you need some ID’

Santa came in with
His reindeer behind
Animal’s on E ward?
The matron won’t mind!

I’ve come to bring gifts
For your patients, all three
Who are cared for so
Wonderfully here I can see

The nurses were laughing
Amazed at the sight
This had certainly brightened
up their long night.

‘A gift here for each of you’
Santa did say
‘For all the hard work
You do here each day’

The nurses hugged Santa
Then he left for the door
Off to give gifts on
another ward floor.

To patients and nurses
Keep up the good fight.
Merry Christmas to all
and to all a good night!


Chloe Alden-Dennis is Student Nursing Times’ student editor for children’s branch



Readers' comments (2)

  • I would like to add that although this poem mentions nurses specifically. It applies to all health care staff, patients and families. :-)

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  • charming, sensitive, meaningful and an excellent piece of writing Chloe. Very well done and a very Merry Christmas and all the future ones you will one day spend on the wards.

    as a child and daughter of a consultant we always did the Mayor's hospital round on Christmas Day and visited every imaginative themed ward usually inspired by fairy tales and watched the surgeons all dressed up carve the turkey. I still remember a rather chubby senior surgeon with very hairy legs and chest dressed up in a very short white tutu as a fairy and still have the photo to prove it. this was followed by late lunch at home to which on-call staff were invited, usually from abroad with no family nearby. This reminds me of the annual matron's ball when no wives were invited but stayed at home to dress up their husbands. One local male GP dressed as a school girl from his daughter's school drove through the town to the party when he was stopped by some tourists who asked the way. forgetting his fancy dress he got out of the car with his map to give directions and spread it out over the bonnet of the car completely forgetting his attire and very short skirt which rode up as he bent over the map until he got some very strange looks from those he was trying to help!

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