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When you look at me, what do you see?

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Student Emma Parsley shares a poem about the barriers to effective communication with patients

I’m weak - in fact I’m useless now, I can’t speak.

I’ll never get to grips with this, I HAVE REACHED MY PEAK!


You don’t know what I’m thinking ‘cause you can’t hear what I say.

You share a distant glance, then on with your day.


When did you last look into my eyes, my dear? I’M STILL HERE!


At the start when they told me I won’t have a choice

“It’s a matter of time before you’ll lose your voice”.

I won’t let it beat me - it is just a test.

But it’s hard; I can’t do this; I’M TRYING MY BEST!

Until the nurse came to visit, she said to me in jest

“I have brought with me a student - she won’t be a pest”.


In hindsight it’s hazy, but remains as clear as day,

“Hello Jan, how are you?” “Sorry, what did you say?”


My god, how crazy, this is long overdue.

Hang on, where’s my pen? I know just what to do.


As I put pen to paper I slowly write

But wait one moment - this could take all night!

Here I am again, in a struggle, in a fight

What is the point there is no end in sight?


I have nothing to say, such a huge price to pay.

You must go, carry on, get on with your day.


She smiled, and then winked as she looked at me.

She alerted me then signed



Emma Parsley is a first-year adult nursing student at Swansea University

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