For the last seven years, Donna DeLisio, BSN, CMSRN, has been in the role of Nursing Professional Development Specialist at Cleveland Clinic. During her 31-year career in nursing, she worked at the bedside primarily in medical/surgical and critical care. Donna then discovered a love of teaching while working at Cuyahoga Community College as a clinical and lab instructor for about a decade. She will receive her Master’s degree in Nursing Education this August.
Reflecting on the care her mother received for over five years while she was battling ovarian cancer, Donna penned this poem from the perspective of both a nurse and daughter. Her words so beautifully portray the care provided by so many hands. “In the Year of the Nurse,” Donna writes, “I have never been more proud to be a part of this amazing profession.”
Listen to a reading of this poem. Recorded by Christine Young, Coordinator II in the Spiritual Care Department at Hillcrest Hospital.
Day in the Life of a Nurse’s Caring Hands
These hands will be washed frequently. I want to protect you from infection.
These hands will open the chart at the beginning of the day, so I can gather all the information needed to provide the best possible care.
These hands will be extended when I greet you. I care, and you can trust me.
These hands will pull the curtain and provide privacy before care is given. I respect you.
These hands will carefully place the stethoscope in the right place. I want to be accurate.
These hands will carefully check the IV, the dressing, the feeding pump, the telemetry monitor. I will ensure competent, quality, safe care.
These hands will pull up a chair so your loved one can be near. I know you are afraid.
These hands will make multiple phone calls throughout the day, so I can coordinate your care with other disciplines. I will be your biggest advocate.
These hands will hang the drawings that your grandson made so you can see them. I know it’s important to you.
These hands will wipe away the tears if needed. They will hold your hand if needed. They will touch your arm. I genuinely care about your well-being.
These hands will administer pain medication when you need it. I know you heal faster if your pain is under control.
These hands will give you a “high five” when it’s the last chemo treatment. I am ecstatic too!
These hands will be folded in prayer at the end of the day, thankful to be privileged enough to come back the next day and do it all over again.
Donna DeLisio, BSN, CMSRN