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'What is nursing?'

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This is nursing, I hear you say.

Jessica McCabe

A calling; a future; leading the way.

Healing the world - how big is your heart?

Some may say it is an art.

Education and skills you will require,

But having a heart is what is truly desired.

Selfless and willing you will have to be,

But love and care is the real key.

Who could have thought? Who would have guessed,

We’d be standing by a bed with a watch at our chest.

Counting the breaths, counting the beat,

13-hour shifts play havoc with our feet.

Bells, yells and all kinds of smells,

Antibiotics, needles and cells.

Charts for that, notes for this,

Bedside vigils, that final kiss.

Sharing the laughter, drying the tears,

Reassuring and easing the fears.

Bruised, confused, broken and torn,

Stitched, repaired, plastered and born.

Holding hands, wiping the brows,

Dealing with the here and now.

Easing the pain, finding the vein,

The kidneys, the lungs, the heart, the brain.

The media ensure their anger is vented,

But still we will not let our reputations be dented.

How do they know? What do they see?

Please come and listen, hear our plea.

We care for our patients, nursing the nation,

But yet you still fail to see our frustration.

Do not let bad press turn you away,

I promise we care, we have so many good days.

Come and be a nurse, show them your skills,

I promise you will love it - experience the thrills.

Care for a patient who is having a stroke,

This is nursing - I swear it’s no joke.

Cardiac arrests, vital tests,

Hurry be quick, put the pads on the chests.

We travel the world, we see how they live,

Care and compassion is what we give.

So many countries, nursing the poor,

Lots of diseases in need of a cure.

Gloves and aprons, masks at the ready,

Rushed off our feet, it’s never steady.

Patients and families they come and they go,

And still our love continues to grow.

The pain and suffering we see in a day,

We take it all home, we take it away.

But yet we come back to do it again,

How could we leave our patients in pain?

It’s not just job, it is a vocation,

It can take you anywhere, to a brand new location.

Develop your skills, there is room for growth,

Nursing and laughter, there’s room for both.

You will meet new friends who will be there for life,

With you through stress and times of strife.

Supporting each other, helping you through,

I swear you will love it - try something new.

So again I stress, I will repeat,

I will not lie, you will be rushed off your feet.

This is nursing, the highs and lows,

Stop, take a breath to think and compose.

Jessica McCabe is a current adult nursing student at Northumbria University

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