Whenever I meet someone new who happens to be a nurse—in both clinical and social settings—I wait for the right moment to mention my work on AJN‘s Reflections column.
Rattle Issue #28, Winter 2007
At social functions, when someone asks me what I do for a living, I answer that I'm a nurse, and that I also write poetry. As a rule, the conversation then turns down the path I've taken as poet. Few people ask about the nursing (unless of course they happen to be nurses too). Few are curious about the connection between nursing and poetry.
American Journal Of Nursing, September 2005
I entered my three-month rotation at Seton Psychiatric Institute through a leafy drive, a pastel tunnel of old trees and flowering shrubs. I was nineteen years old and eager to leave behind my dark and creaky nurses' residence in downtown Baltimore. So Seton was a welcome escape, with its sloping lawn and the distant, treeless hill where the home for elderly nuns gleamed. Even the "chronic ward"--as it was calledi n 1966--had a wholesome, scrubbed charm, not unlike a nursery suite tucked under the eaves of a Victorian mansion. On the top floor of the hospital, it was a low-ceilinged space, checkered by light from a row of dormer windows.
When I was a nursing student, back in the late '60s, Principles and Practices of Nursing was held in a dim classroom on the first floor of our nurses' residence. There the freshman students would sit in the old, theater-style tiers, intent on the instructions of Sister Thecla.