The supervisor called, she’s pulling Noel to Peds,
Where, she says, they’ve got really pressing needs.
And Nadia, poor girl, must float to 12 East,
To face the scourge of the adult med-surg beast.
Though the administrators won’t admit to a nursing shortage,
When the census hits the rapids, they attempt this portage.
So here in our quaint little Newborn ICU,
I’m left for the shift with two nurses too few.
The ward clerk’s on holiday, the housekeeper’s sick.
The supervisor’s advice? Make the best of it.
So with a babble of babies to care for alone,
I’ll empty the linens while I answer the phone.
I’ll suction one baby while I tube-feed another,
Hoping my catheters don’t get crossed in the bother.
While I mix special formula, I’ll hang TPN*,
Then gather antibiotics from the pharmacy bin,
I’ll round up the mothers for the baby bath class,
Then while I have them, teach breastfeeding en masse.
I’ll run to alarms wherever they beep,
So they won’t disturb all my little ones’ sleep.
Check all the IV sites, write notes in the …