Let us take a moment to remember our hands.
For these are no ordinary hands.
These are the hands of a nurse.
These are the hands that help us do our work.
These are the hands that carry out the skills that make nursing possible.
Let us remember our hands and be grateful for what they do
For the eyes may see, the mouth may speak but it is the hands that hold, the hands that heal, the hands that give the caring touch.
These are the hands that feel the first breath of a new born child,
These are the hands that feel the last breath of a dying one
These are the hands that hold a family, who has just lost a loved one, These are the hands that clap for joy at the healing of a disease. These are the hands that insert tubes that bring healing to the body
These are the hands that touch a forehead and tell, within a degree, normal or febrile.
These are the hands that feel a pulse and know fast or slow, weak or strong, effective or for naught.
These are the hands that restrain the angry from self-harm
These are the hands that compress the sternum to bring life
These are the hands that clean unspeakable places on another person's body but do so with dignity and respect which allow that person to feel like a human being.
These are also the hands of different people not just black or white, brown or yellow but all.
These are not the hands of male or female but both.
Other hands may build buildings or write books Some hands may even pull the trigger or plunge the knife but these are the hands of life.
These are the hands that take up the task passed down from so long ago-to bring healing to the sick, comfort to the afflicted, hope to the hopeless
But these are not the hands of timid maidens who look for direction outside themselves
These are also the hands that can be clenched because sometimes some thing has got to change.
These are the hands of a nurse
These are the hands that have the privilege of being at the bedside
For these are the hands of a nurse, the hands of a person that does a job that not everyone can do.
These are the hands of a nurse, the hands of strength compassion and love
These are the hands of a nurse,
These are my hands.
This poem originally appeared in "Reflections on the Hands of a Nurse: Book of Prayers and Reflections for Nurses" by Mark Darby
Mark Darby, RN, is currently a FNP student and program director of North Omaha Academy of Healthy Living. He also practices at a North Omaha Area Health (NOAH) a free health education and screening clinic in Omaha. He writes the Spirituality in Nursing blog for ADVANCE.