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When you were in hospital...

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Poem by Crystal Wilson, third year student nurse at Canterbury Christ Church University

Crystal Wilson

When you were in hospital
No-one knew your name.
You were all alone.
Dazed, you looked around the room, your gaze touching on upon the wires.
The buttons
The lights.
The beds
The patients.
You looked down at your trembling hands.
And then your eyes fixed on mine.

When you were in hospital
Everything was so alien to you.
You weren’t used to the noise.
You lived alone, you said.
You had no-one else at home.
Although you said it was nice, to see my smiling face.

When you were in hospital
You didn’t ask for much.
You told me not to fuss.
That I must have better things to do.
That you would soon be in peace.
That I was not to worry.

When you were in hospital
You were scared at night.
The noises and lights made you anxious.
You didn’t like to bother the nurses.
Or wake anyone else up, if you needed help.

When I was your nurse
I saw you arrive.
I knew your name.
I saw you take in the ward, and I walked forward to greet you.
My eyes looked into yours, and I smiled.

When I was your nurse
I helped you to dress, and to wash.
I sometimes spent my lunch time, listening to you speak.
About your life. So full of joy and excitement.
Your eyes would glow with the memory of years past.

When I was your nurse
I arranged to work overnight.
You were so very tired and needed comfort.
So I sat by your bed, and told you I wasn’t fussing. I just needed to put my feet up.
And so we spoke of love, and life. Of friends now passed.
And I held your hand in mine until you drifted off.

When I was your nurse
You weren’t scared any more.

Crystal Wilson is in her third year studying adult nursing at Canterbury Christ Church University

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