Is There Care In Health Care - A Poem

Submitted by Judy Berden RN, MSN ED

Tags: assisting family health care nursing poem

Is There Care In Health Care - A Poem

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I have been a nurse for 10 years, I started out in a hospital setting where I worked cardiac and lung cancer surgery patients, I am now a home health case manager nurse. I wrote this poem after going out one day to assist a mother with her 22 year old son who had a traumatic brain injury in a 4-wheeler accident. He had a trach, feeding tube, foley cath and skin breakdown from being in a long term care facility for 2 months. The insurance company allowed me three visits to teach the mother how to care for her son. Many times as I looked at the patient as he lay in the bed the lines blurred between her son and my daughter, as I looked at him I sometimes saw my child and thought except for the grace of God this could easily be my child. I wondered how I would react if it were me, what must it feel like when the people whom you put your trust in tell you your childs life will cost too much to save. And yes I can easily see that it would also be much cheaper and cost effective to let this young man go, but what if it were my child or yours? Then what would be the cost? 

He cannot be salvaged, rehabbed, or saved 

We will turn off the respirator later today 

His mother’s heart pauses and shatters 

But he’s my child doesn’t that matter 

The care in healthcare slips out the door 

The respirator slows down and the room is still 

His mother holds her breath and fights for a strong will 

But his chest continues to rise and fall with a normal rate 

He will never be able to move on his own this coma is his fate 

And the care in healthcare slips out the door 

Against all odds she brings him home to stay 

That’s my child is all she will say 

Insurance company says he can’t be helped, so we won’t pay 

That’s my child she continues to say 

And the care in healthcare slips out the door 

I look in her eyes and I see determination and strength  

For her child she’s willing to go to great lengths 

I look at her son and wonder how she will cope 

She has had no training, and no assistance, she only has hope 

As I leave the home I whisper a prayer 

Dear God please help to remember always to care.