The Arithmetic of Nurses by Veneta Masson

Liz Dubelman directed and Paca Thomas provided the animation and score for this VidLit-produced piece. (See VidLit’s “Who We Are” page for bios of Dubelman and Thomas.) Vaneta Masson is the author of two books of poetry based in part on her 35 years as a family nurse practitioner in an inner-city neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Here’s a bio. She doesn’t appear to have a website, but in her Amazon profile, she says:

You can read about my clinic years in two books. The first, a collection of poems (come on you skeptics, give poetry a chance!), is ‘Rehab at the Florida Avenue Grill.’ The second, ‘Ninth Street Notebook–Voice of a Nurse in the City’ contains stories, lessons and reflections from the ragged edge of the real world of nursing and health care.

In 2008, I published a new collection of poems, “Clinician’s Guide to the Soul,” modeled on the pocket-size guides to lab values, drug doses, and treatment protocols I used to rely on during my clinic years. These poems about nursing, medicine, illness and life are meant for professional and family caregivers and all who care about the art and science of healing.


  1. Reply
    aidel 13 August, 2010

    This is amazing! The way our society locks old people away, bedridden and out of sight, is criminal. I, too, am a nurse. And sometimes I’m even proud of it.

  2. Reply
    arvind 13 August, 2010

    Loved this one!

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