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Home is the Nurses’ Residence
Posted On 02/26/2015 23:06:22 by yourchoice

Growing up on a farm without a brother or a sister, entertaining myself with my dog and my horse, it still was a very lonely childhood for me. I had more friends when we moved to the city, but the best experience for me was moving into the Nurses’ Residence. There were 91 girls in my class, and we lived together, worked together, and partied together, and when needed, there was always a shoulder to cry on. It didn’t take very long for us newbies to develop a real ‘sisterhood’.

We ate our meals in the hospital cafeteria, but in the evening, we had access to a Tuck Shop in the basement of the residence where we could buy bottles of pop, sunflower seed, popcorn, etc. Sometimes there were chocolate bars, Lifesavers, and gum, and a limited supply of shampoo, and other personal supplies. We could make cinnamon toast, hot chocolate, and even coffee and tea in an area next to the TV Lounge, but we were not to have food in our room, because they didn’t want to encourage bugs to move in. Did we follow that rule in every detail? Hmm? We became very good at cleaning up all the evidence of having food in our room, and hiding the pop bottles in the bottom of our laundry bags if we didn’t want to take the time to return them to the Tuck Shop. However, if we saw pop bottles lined up on our vanity when returning from work the following day, we knew we were in trouble; our housemother was going through our personal stuff again, and we would be receiving an invitation to visit her in her office, to personally receive her reprimand and the penalty. About the only good thing about those sessions was that it was always done in private, and not in an area where we would likely have onlookers.

As for our social life, it was practically non-existent for the first six months; the one day off per week was expected to be a study day unless we were give special permission to leave the residence. If we did leave, we were to check out on the message board at the front desk, which indicated if we were ‘in’ or ‘out’. Written messages, such as missed phone calls or visitors, change in class time, etc. were left in a slot by our name, which we would be sure to receive when we came back and were again ‘in’!   We had no late-leaves for the first six months, and we were to be in our room at 10:30 p.m. We needed to be well rested for the challenges of the next day, we were told. 

The second half of the first year, we were allowed one late-leave per month, to be checked in no later than 11:00 p.m. If we were late, we would lose one late leave for each of the first three minutes, and after that, we were requested to appear before the Residence Arbitration Board (consisting of both senior students and staff), to explain our tardiness and receive any discipline deemed fitting. Nobody wanted to go through that routine, so we became very good at watching the clock, and explaining to our date how important it was to be back in time. Often the goal was to be back to the hospital parking lot a half hour early, as it was only a 3-minute walk from the parking lot to the Residence entrance, giving us ample time for saying several ‘goodbyes and thank yous’ to our date, if you get my drift!!!!!

In my next blog, I’ll tell you about the circumstances that led up to my one and only appearance before the Arbitration Board.

Tags: Nurses Nursing Friends Rules


Viewing 1 - 4 out of 4 Comments

02/28/2015 17:25:11

  I have a friend who like you was tickled pink to move off the farm and reside in the dorm while studying to become a Nurse. She lived in the same area where I lived. I guess I'm weird because I never dreamed of leaving the area. I'm still only ten miles from where I grew up.

02/28/2015 07:03:33

During one term, my sister had to do a rotation at a psychiatric facility which was about 40 miles from home.  She got a day off to attend a family wedding, but the curfew remained in effect.  My dad left plenty of time to get her back by curfew, but a huge traffic snarl interfered.  When the road opened up, my father may have gotten a little lead footed and we were pulled over by the police.  We were still about 10 miles from our destination and time was getting very short.  When my dad explained why he was speeding, he not only didn't get a ticket, we got a sirens blaring police escort and made the door in the knick of time.  My heart still races when I think about that ride!

02/27/2015 10:46:24

Why do I suspect that "your appearance before the arbitration board" will be of the "could only happen to me" variety?  lol

02/27/2015 00:34:21

"... receive her reprimand and the penalty." Sounds an awful lot like lessons of the burning backside kind! Lol!

Some of those teachers and administrators enjoyed their jobs just a little too much to my chagrin! 

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