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Good morning Joe — Who Cares?

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I wrote these words over 30 years when I was a trainee nurse.

I was a first-year nurse working long, busy, heavy shifts; most of the shift we all ran to complete the tasks at hand. There was never any time to sit and talk to patients. There was never any time to give the care and nurturing that we thought was our vocation.
During a morning shift, I had to do an ambulance transfer with a male patient. I hopped into the back of the ambulance feeling good, it was just a relief to be out of the ward, sitting, watching the traffic, allowing myself to be in a world all of my own.
I glanced over to the patient (as he was in my care) and I saw he was lying— just lying there, completely without any expectations… his eyes looked dull. There was no conversation from me or him, and I realised he did not expect any interaction from me…I understood in that moment, I knew nothing of this old man or his own story.
I commenced a conversation with him and we talked and I learnt a little about him within this short trip; he smiled and his eyes smiled.
While he was having his tests I wrote these words…this was (and still is) my feelings and frustrations with nursing (the lack of time and staff) and the sadness of who really does care, care enough to talk and listen, interact, commit and involve with the elderly.

Good-morning Joe

” The inability to give the intended care crushes the spirit over time”