‘Twas a night in emergency, when all through the ward
Not a patient was stirring, not even Miss Maude;
The fluids were hung by the patients with care,
In hopes that St. Discharge soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of nebulisers danced in their heads;
And matron in her red shirt, and I in my slacks,
Had settled our brains post Trans-Ischaemic Attack,
When out in the ambulance bay there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the tea room to see what was the matter.
Away to the Resus I flew like a flash,
Found the ‘staff assist’ button and gave it a bash.
The lights on the breast of the newly-cleaned floor,
Gave a lustre of midday to the emergency door.
When what to my nightshift tired eyes did appear,
But a car v. pedestrian was on its way here,
With a little old man so crumpled and sick,
I knew in a moment he needed help quick.
More rapid than eagles the doctors they came,
And whistled, and shouted, and called out by name:
“Now, Morphine! Now, Adrenaline! Now Ketamine and Oxygen!
On, blood pressure! On, heart rate! On, oxygen saturation!
To the top of the list! To the top of the stall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As leaves that before the rescue helicopter fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the patient the nurses they flew
With a tray full of instruments, and medicine too—
And then, a phone call on the doctor’s behalf
It’s times like these we could do with more staff.
Check airway then breathing and on down the line,
Let’s hope the poor soul has not fractured his spine.
The patient assessed, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all covered with blood and soot;
As I inserted the cannula and gained IV access
I remembered the reason I joined nursing practice.
His eyes—did not twinkle! His gaze was so glary!
His cheeks were all ashen, his pallor, how scary!
His sad little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the stubble on his chin was as white as the snow;
An injured right leg and the bone snapped beneath,
And the blood, it encircled his limb like a wreath;
Abdominal bruising and a swollen round belly
That shook when he coughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
His airway secured and a catheter inserted,
Packed cells had been ordered and surgeon alerted.
He spoke not a word, but was sent straight to work
The stretcher was loaded, and turned with a jerk.
Rushed quickly to theatres and out of our hands,
To the brilliant surgeons who’ll do all that they can.
The room had gone silent; the team gave a whistle,
The shift it had flown like the down of a thistle.
Then I heard Doctors exclaim, as he was pushed out of sight—
“Thanks to the nurses, and to all a good night!”
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