A Poem by Rosie Jimson-Healy
Thank you to my nurse, for turning a blind eye to the crumpled figure of my partner, sleeping in the blue plastic hospital chair next to me, so I wasn’t alone at night.
Thank you to my nurse, for stroking my hair while I cried.
Thank you to my nurse, for smuggling me a brown paper bag of sandwiches at some ungodly hour, when I was finally allowed to eat again (they were delicious).
Thank you to my nurse for waking me softly, smiling, with blood pressure cuffs and pills every three hours.
Thank you to the nurse who painted my best friends nails when she was alone in mental health care.
Thank you to the nurse who told my mum not to leave hospice to buy lemon zinger tea bags on the double, because nana was dying, and sometimes when people are dying, they don’t know what they say.
Thank you to the nurse who will help me when I have babies, when I’m weak or sick, when my partner is hurt, when my brother falls off the back of a car again, when my dad doesn’t take care of himself, when my mother is in pain.
Thank you to our nurses, for your knowledge, for our comfort, for your heart.
This poem was inspired in support of the recent Nurse’s strike. If you have concerns about your own employment contract, you might be interested in looking at the relevant section of the Community Law Manual. In general, employers and employees are free to decide what the terms and conditions of the employment relationship will be. However, there are also some key minimum rights and protections that the law says form part of all employment relationships.