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Look Closer Nurse

(9 Posts)
Indinana Mon 01-Feb-16 19:54:49

Yes, here it is:

What do we see, you ask, what do we see?
Yes, we are thinking when looking at thee!
We may seem to be hard when we hurry and fuss,
But there’s many of you, and too few of us.
We would like far more time to sit by you and talk,
To bath you and feed you and help you to walk.
To hear of your lives and the things you have done;
Your childhood, your husband, your daughter, your son.
But time is against us, there’s too much to do -
Patients too many, and nurses too few.
We grieve when we see you so sad and alone,
With nobody near you, no friends of your own.
We feel all your pain, and know of your fear
That nobody cares now your end is so near.
But nurses are people with feelings as well,
And when we’re together you’ll often hear tell
Of the dearest old Gran in the very end bed,

And the lovely old Dad, and the things that he said,
We speak with compassion and love, and feel sad
When we think of your lives
and the joy that you’ve had,
When the time has arrived for you to depart,
You leave us behind with an ache in our heart.
When you sleep the long sleep, no more worry or care,
There are other old people, and we must be there.
So please understand if we hurry and fuss -
There are many of you,
And so few of us.

Indinana Mon 01-Feb-16 19:52:31

Someone did pen a reply to this, from the nurses' point of view. I wonder if I can find it...

merlotgran Mon 01-Feb-16 19:43:38

A condescending relative sent this to me when I was having a particularly diffficult time with Mum. They hadn't visited for months but expected me to keep them regularly updated.

I took great delight in binning it!

mollie Mon 01-Feb-16 18:35:54

Years ago I worked for a nurse tutor who used that poem to make the point to his students and new nurses. He's now a dementia patient himself and I only hope his message got through...

hildajenniJ Mon 01-Feb-16 18:23:12

We had this poem on the wall in the staff room at the last Nursing Home I worked in before retiring. It's good to be reminded from time to time.

Luckygirl Mon 01-Feb-16 18:20:08

I used to use this with nursing students.

numberplease Mon 01-Feb-16 18:06:12

I`ve read that before, and it`s just done what it did last time, made me cry.

loopylou Mon 01-Feb-16 18:05:01

Very poignant, and it's a poem I love.
Thank you

Greymary Mon 01-Feb-16 18:00:53

Clearing/sorting came across this which a friend sent me during my mother's last hospital admittance. Not sure where to post.


What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
What are you thinking when looking at me?
A crabbit old woman, not very wise
Uncertain of habit, with far away eyes.
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice "I do wish you would try".
Who seems not to notice the things that you do,
and forever is losing a stocking or two.
Who, quite unresisting, lets you do as you will
with bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.
Is this what you're thinking? is this what you see?
Then open your eyes - you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still
as I move at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother,
brothers and sisters who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen with wings on her feet,
dreaming that soon a true love she will meet.

A bride now at twenty, my heart gives a leap
remembering vows that I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now I have young of my own
who need me to build a secure, happy home

A woman of thirty my young growing fast,
bound to each other with ties that will last.

At forty my sons will soon all be gone,
but my man stays beside me to see I don't mourn.

At fifty once more babies play round my knee,
again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is gone
my young are all busy, with young of their own.
I think of the years and the love that I've known.

I'm an old woman now and nature is cruel,
'tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body it crumbles, grace and vigour depart,
there is a stone where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells
and now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain,
and I'm living and loving all over again.

I think of the years, all too few - gone too fast
and accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, Nurses, open and see
Not a crabbit old woman, look closer - see ME.