Volume 23 Number 2


Murray J Fisher

For referencing Fisher MJ. Editorial. Journal of the Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses’ Association 2020; 23(2):2-3.

DOI https://doi.org/10.33235/jarna.23.2.2-3






In this issue, rather than write an editorial, I would like to share with you a letter I received from one of our members. At the end of the letter you will find a poem that this member has written. This creative work highlights the multifaceted and complex roles nurses assume when doing rehabilitation.


embelish 1.jpg


Dear Editor,

Several months ago, I visited our inpatient Rehabilitation ward, which happened to be much busier than usual on that day. One of our novice nurses approached me almost in tears and stated:

I feel like we’ve been running all day and no matter how hard we try; we just can’t get on top of everything! The patients must be thinking that we are really bad nurses…

Every nurse working in Rehabilitation can somehow relate to these sentiments. With the ever-increasing patient acuity and workload pressures, it is not unusual for one to experience feelings of being overwhelmed or even incompetency from time to time. I always try to use every opportunity that presents itself, to explain the important role that nurses play in rehabilitation. Therefore, on this day, I went around the ward asking our patients to tell me just one thing that they had seen their nurse do. Using their responses, I composed this poem to humorously illustrate the multifaceted roles played by nurses in Rehabilitation. I hope it reassures them that even in those moments when they feel like, “they’ve been running all day”, their patients can still see, and do understand the contributions that they make towards their rehabilitation journey. May they always remember that, “21st Century nursing is the glue that holds a patient’s health care journey together” (American Nurses Association [ANA], n.d).


The skies are clear,

The morning is here!

“Nurse! Nurse! Did you write the report for today?”

“Oh no! The morning folks are here!”

And off goes my rehab nurse,

To find the shift report, I guess!


Some nurses are whinging,

Some nurses are missing!

“Nurse! Nurse! Did you do the allocation for today?”

“Oh no! The manager is here!”

And off goes my rehab nurse,

To find more hands for the work, I guess!


Miss Milan is sulky,

‘Muscle man’ is unhappy!

“Nurse! Nurse! Did she get her shower today?”

“Oh no! The therapists are here!”

And off goes my rehab nurse,

To find her shower sling, I guess!


The cows* are rolling,

The charts are falling!

“Nurse! Nurse! Did you do his bladder scan today?”

“Oh no! The doctors are here!”

And off goes my rehab nurse,

To find my bladder chart, I guess!


Wayne Smith is cachectic,

Weighing scale is problematic!

“Nurse! Nurse! Did you take his weight today?”

“Oh no! The dietician is here!”

And off goes my rehab nurse,

To find a working scale, I guess!


The wheels are turning,

The passenger is frowning!

“Nurse! Nurse! Is the bed ready for him today?”

“Oh no! The new admission is here!”

And off goes my rehab nurse,

To receive one like me, I guess!


My steps are steady,

My suitcase isn’t ready!

“Nurse! Nurse! Is my dad going home today?”

“Oh no! The family is here!”

And off goes my rehab nurse,

To find my discharge meds, I guess!


I can see room twenty

I can see its empty!

“Nurse! Nurse! Did you see him off today?”

“Oh no! I left him here!”

Adieu my rehab nurse,

I hope to ‘Thank you’ someday, I guess!


*COWS: Computer on Wheels


Lydia Anyanga
Nurse Practitioner, Rehabilitation, Aged and Community Services (RACS), University of Canberra Hospital, ACT


Murray J Fisher RN, DipAppSc (Nursing), BHSc (Nursing), MHPEd, ITU Cert, PhD
Email editor@arna.com.au


American Nurses Association (ANA). (n.d). What is nursing? Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/workforce/what-is-nursing/