Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics

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This article was written on 20 Dec 2019, and is filled under Current Issue, Volume 14 2019, Volume 14 No 4.

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The invisible night shift

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by Genevieve Turrell, PSW/UCP

The invisible night shift

In the dead of night when the stars are bright

And the rest of the world is sleeping tight

Here I sit dreaming away 

Thinking about the light of day

The night shift life is the life for me

For my eyes see what no ones see

The wanderers, the falls, the unexpected calls

The sick, the dying, the lonely and crying

Some that live here don’t even know

The life behind the shift they never see show

I’m gone by the time they are bright and awake

Except for some pills I might wake you up to take

If your wet in the night I’m here for your bed

Clean you up ,change the sheets and try to settle your head

There’s one thing the world doesn’t seem to comprehend

Is that little jobs hide themselves around every corner and every bend

Just because your mom is sleeping doesn’t mean she always will

And the amount of love and care I give doesn’t show up on the bill

Just because your sleeping doesn’t mean your mom is well

And doesn’t mean she may not be putting me through the slightest bit of hell

I say this to remind, not to be harsh or mean

But I just want you to remember what’s there cannot always be seen

I monitor them all and run to every call but what you will never know 

Is my work load is a hustle and only continues to grow 

The more you care the more you share what time you have on hand

Juggle people the best you can I hope you can understand 

That just because this world is quiet doesn’t mean that I am

For I am the one looking after your parent, an invisible hologram 

Bio

Genevieve lives in a small town in Ontario and has been working in gerontology for 9 years including four years on the night shift. She wrote this poem about her experience working in a retirement home setting.

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