‘Twas the night before Christmas — for nurses
‘Twas the night before Christmas and night in the ward
I glanced at the names that graced the white board.
The charts were all piled on the desk without care
In the hopes I’d have time to see what was there.
The patients were restless, moving about in their beds
While call bells went off, causing pain in my head.
Charge nurse in scrubs, I with my lab coat
Waited for the effects of our latest coffee jolt.
When way down the hall, there arose such a clatter!
We ran from the office to see what was the matter.
Away down the hall, I flew like a flash
Clipped my knee on a wheelchair, my teeth I did gnash.
The light in the hall, turned low for the night
Showed me a scene that gave me a fright.
Because what to my fearful eyes should appear
A lonely walking patient, coming ever so near.
The patient stumbled forward, an IV in his hand
Trailing behind, a catheter bag, a train so grand.
Now Nurse! Now Doctor! Now anyone here!
Come on anybody, I want me some beer!
Along he went to the top of the hall,
My colleague and I were afraid he would fall!
By his side I did go, to help calm him down
He greeted my presence with an obvious frown
He called for a chair and then again for a beer
We quietly told him, “Sorry, we don’t serve that here.”
And then, in a twinkling, I heard in a room
A lady calling, she needs a broom!
A crash we then heard, the patient came to the door
Come, see what’s a mess, see on the floor!
I left the beer drinker to go have a peek
The sight on the floor made me send out a shriek.
I went to the phone: “Get me housekeeping, please!
I need your help now, I’m starting to wheeze!”
The patient was moved to a room that was clean
I thought of the patients I hadn’t yet seen.
The patients got settled, the call bells stopped beeping
Midnight was coming, we felt the time creeping.
IVs we did check and vital signs we did take
Wondering if this Christmas, we’d both get a break.
Back down to the desk, we had paperwork to do
Looked at the clock, still plenty of night to get through.
We went through chart after chart, the orders we checked
When the call bells went off, down the hallway we trekked!
Midnight was coming, Christmas Eve would soon end
We wondered if admin would mind if some rules we would bend
For the holiday season is the time for some fun
As long as our patient work was all done!
We went back to the desk, just for a moment or two
When we found treats on the desk—from where and from who?
The treats, they were good and touching to get
But from where they arrived, we hadn’t found yet.
We heard sounds of someone running out of sight
And heard very clearly, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”
Marijke is a professional writer who began her working career as a registered nurse over 25 years ago. After working in clinical areas ranging from rehab to intensive care, as a floor nurse to a supervisor, she found she could combine her extensive health knowledge with her love of writing. Although she has been published in a wide variety of publications for professionals and the general public, her passion is writing for the every day person to promote health literacy.
By Marijke Durning