‘Twas the day of Christmas, when all through the building,
Not a staff member sitting, it was quite a guilding;
The residents were washed and groomed with care,
In hopes that visitors soon would be there.

Children visiting would make them feel blessed;
Grandkids would come, dressed in their best;
Mrs. Jones in her sweater, Mr. Smith in his cap,
Went back to their rooms for a short winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what’s the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But our usual surveyor in her van, parked quite near.
I tried not to panic, tried not to be sick,
Maybe I’m hallucinating — is it really St. Nick?!

More rapid than eagles this surveyor came,
But she smiled, and grinned, and called me by name.
“Now, don’t fret, don’t worry, it’s no survey today!
I’m visiting Aunt Zelda, then will be on my way!”

A wink of her eye and a twist of her head
Soon let me know, yes, I had nothing to dread;
As soon as my breath returned to my lungs,
And off of the floor, I picked up my tongue.
Up to the units, I rounded, I flew,
With a heart full of joy, my staff felt it too —

Each unit pristine, the residents joyful.
My staff is the best, so great, so darn loyal.
As I turned my head, I saw activities abound,
Carol singing, cookie making, what fun was around.

I missed seeing my kids, open gifts Christmas morn.
Yes, I missed being home, but I wasn’t forlorn,
Seeing staff and residents so jolly and merry!
Reminded me my calling was not ordinary!

So my mouth pulled a smile, like a bow,
and I remembered the words, “You reap what you sow.”
Then I ordered pizza, to everyone’s favor,
To go with the baked treats I hoped they would savor.

And when evening came, and I could go home,
I knew there was no better place that I could roam.
You could hear me cry out, as I drove out of sight —
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Just keeping it real (and Happy Holidays!),

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.