nursing theory

This piece is taken from an unpublished collection drawing on my experiences working in the field of psychiatry, tentatively entitled ‘The New Asylum’, currently being developed into book format in collaboration with my wife Leanne Murphy.
Please note: Some instances of PG language appear in this piece.

well alright
if you really want to know
I’ll tell you the theory
my theory

a few eons ago
they stopped making people like me

I’m a relic from another time

I rubbed shoulders
with madness and eccentricity and violence
and plain nuttiness
for three full years before they licensed me
to be a psychiatric nurse

if they give students two or three weeks
it’s a luxury

back then
they figured that
if we could treat really sick people
in their homes or in the community
they wouldn’t need to come to hospital
we could go to them

fair enough

so what happened
was that all the nurses who had a few runs
on the board
skills and experience
went off to work in the community

well you would
wouldn’t you


except that the result
and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist
for this bit
the result
is that we started getting the sickest people
the ones that couldn’t be managed in the community
coming into the inpatient units

bloody near impossible

at the same time
we stopped training people
in the way they’d created nurses like me


no wonder it’s a bloody struggle
for the poor buggers working in the acute units

no wonder it’s hard to find staff
you can’t blame them for not being interested
in learning on-the-job in psychiatry

no wonder the system is stuffed

I don’t know if there’s a place in the game
for an old fart like me

I’m too cynical
jaded maybe
but that’s my theory
some other bugger might tell you different
but one thing’s sure

it isn’t right

© Frank Prem, 2008

Another in this series is lost: one cockerel.

5 thoughts on “nursing theory

  1. wow – now that paints a really interesting perspective …. and surely, indeed, contributes to the overall “problems” within the health care system …. adding more strain, stress and tension to situations that can be extremely difficult and dangerous. This is quite an evolved piece – gives one alot of things to consider and think about.

    Liked by 1 person

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