A Nurse’s Week Ode to Nurses

How’s your Nurse’s Week going so far? I hope you’ve had a chance to be adequately appreciated. If not, treat yourself. Ditch your diet, buy some chocolate, kick your feet up and watch your favorite show tonight after work. Forget the dishes, cleaning and kids- you need a break! In honor of Nurse’s Week, one RN has put her experiences to verse in a laugh-out-loud rendition of what life as a nurse is really like.

A Nurse’s Week Ode to Nurses

By Anna Kadeg, CRNA


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As you already know we’re a breed of our own

our sense of humor all twisted 

and jaded and wrong


Our shifts can go all through the night

We’d kill for an eight-to-four

Instead we come home just before light


We wear PJ’s to work 

and, yes, clogs that match

but I suggest you not smirk

‘cus we’re one feisty batch


We’ve been spit on and bitten

and cussed at and bruised

We’ve seen old ladies like kittens

become vicious and confused


Our skin may be think

but yours would be too

if a day on the job

meant examining poo


Our hands have been places

you never would guess

and our eyes have seen cases

a mind can’t repress


And now there’s the joy

of technology

when your everyday-Joe

can earn his WebMD


“My mom needs this pill,

I read it, you’ll see”

DO NOT pay the WiFi bill,

every nurse plea’s


I know desk jobs are hard

and every workplace has stress

but I’ve never seen a business-lady

with puke on her dress


And that’s why, I think, 

there’s a week like this one

because nurses are on the brink

of coming undone


A nurse gives and gives, and then gives some more

and on her way home, she stops at the store

she makes sure you’re fed, and the house is kept clean

and does a million-and-one other things that go unseen


You talk about your day 

and she listens and cares

she hugs stress away

and your burdens she bears


But a nurse is alone

when it comes to her day

she’ll throw you a bone

and attempt to portray


When you ask how her shift went

she smiles and says “tiring”

“It was long and I’m spent,

I wonder if Macy’s is hiring”


She’s joking you know

and she always says “tired”

so you turn on a show

as she folds clothes from the dryer


But “tired” is a word

used when nothing else works

to explain how 12 hours feels

calming a family’s berserk


It’s when the job interferes

you can’t stay while she cries

as her husband of 65 years

takes his last breath and dies


It’s a girl’s call light in one room

a frantic man in another

“that took five minutes!” she fumes

you can’t say, but next door, he’s losing his brother


It’s when diabetes take his leg

yet all day he whines

demanding brownies, he begs

you throw up your hands and say “fine”


“Tired” is tethering an old man to this world

with tubes and with hoses and wires

“DNR”, “don’t revive” his pen clearly swirled

his family ignores his final desires


It’s heavy, it’s true

nurses carry a lot

but their patients do too

they’re not feeling so not


So don’t let nurses week slide

without any mention

don’t count on others to provide

them much needed attention


Don the chocolates and cards if you’re smart

and please, please not the scrubs with the hearts

give the nurse in your life the thing she needs most

a recliner, a six pack, and for once YOU make the roast


This Nurse’s Week let your girlfriend freak out

to you on the phone and then stomp about

and maybe this time, instead of thinking she’s weak

you’ll remember what “tired” means, and save the critique


If your mother’s a nurse

a few kind words will do

a note in her purse

that says “”thanks for the shoes”


“I know how you earned the

the blood sweat and tears

the long hours and phlegm

and you’ve done it for years”


If YOU are the nurse

then just do what you love

for once please be selfish

give your charting a shove


Sit with your patient 

and take time to talk

remind yourself why

it’s worth long hours and crocks.

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