The Anatomy of a Nurse

Today we have an angel
As the subject of our anatomy class
Observe the immaculate but simple
Holistic beauty that she has.
And now shrug off the smock gown
And remove the whites
Let’s examine the nurse more closely
Beneath the OR lights.

A nurse’s eyes are her conscience
Sharp as a scalpel’s blade.
Her keen inspection and assessment
Minimizes mistakes made.
She checks the medicine labels
Once, twice, three times
Reads the charts and doctor’s orders
And counts the drops in your IV line.

Her fingers, deft and nimble
Movements sure with speed and skill.
Handles instruments in surgery,
Administers injections to the ill.
Whether encased in white latex gloves
Or bare and warm on your skin,
The able hands of your competent nurse
Trumps any aspirin.

A nurse is blessed with gastrocnemii
And hamstrings that never tire
Being on her feet indefatigably
Is a talent she’s acquired.
Though in the future her popliteal
Is at risk for varicosities
Her dedication to her patients
Far surpasses her vanity.

She smiles and the sun shines brighter
Into the window of your suite.
She gains your trust and builds rapport
From the first day that you meet.
Her cheerfulness is infinite
Her compassion knows no bounds.
A nurse’s lips soothe and teach
Every time she makes her rounds.

From the top of her head
To the tips of her toes
A nurse’s training and character
Is quite above reproach.
All extraordinary traits I’ve said
But the most extraordinary one of all
Is the one last vital virtue
I’ve waited till now to extol.

For a nurse is like a patchwork quilt
Of values, skills and smarts
And her calling is a rewarding mix
Of sciences and arts.
But out of the anatomy
I’ve described to you in part
What maybe said is most admirable
About a nurse is her heart. □



Originally published in the University of Santo Tomas College of Nursing’s The Nursing Journal in 2011.

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