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Golden Nuggets Plus 10 - Part 1
Posted On 02/20/2021 15:40:09 by yourchoice

Is it my turn to write a blog this week? It has been a busy time in my “office”, phone conversations, text messages, and email ‘letters’, updating my contact list, and remembering to save all the info that I’ve been receiving. My title this week may be a bit confusing, so let me fill in some blanks.

This story started many years ago, on a sunny day in the late summer. A large group of young ladies, most who had just graduated from high school, had received notice of the anticipated event, including the date, time and location. Some lived in the designated city, and others had to make travel arrangements. It would be the first day of a life-changing three-year commitment, commonly called ‘Nursing School’. Introductions were made by the “house Mother” over a cup of tea in the Lounge, then a tour of the building to familiarize the facilities, and then an orientation packet, including room assignments, were handed out to just over one hundred first-year students. The residence was a ten-storey building connected to the hospital, that became ‘home’ to more than three hundred ladies. In those days, male hospital workers were called ‘orderlies’, but never nurses.

Living in the residence was mandatory until the last six month of the third year, the work week was six days, and the seventh day was ‘study’ day. Each student had her own private room, equipped with a day bed, locking closet, book shelf, desk, and sink with hot and cold running water. Lavatory and shower stalls were down the hall. Telephones were by the elevators, operated by a switchboard operator on the main floor, who would signal a student in her room when she had a caller… one buzz for a phone call, two buzzes for a caller in person.

Each new student was also introduced to her ‘big sister’, a second-year student, who would be available to give both physical and emotional support, as well as friendship, to these new gals. ‘Big Sisters’ explained the routines and the house rules. Every morning started at 7 a.m. (or earlier), dressed in full uniform (blue dress, white big and apron, white stockings with the seam straight up the back of the leg, and white laced oxford shoes, ready to attend chapel service on the main floor. Breakfast was served in the hospital and work or classes started at 8 a.m.

After attending classes for only four weeks, those first year students were assigned their work schedules in the hospital, to start putting into practice what had been taught in class. What had they learned in four weeks? They could bring warm water in basins to each patient for a morning “sponge bath”. They could change the bedding for their assigned patients, distribute fresh drinking water and meal trays, and give back rubs. AND… when necessary, they could help a patient on to a ‘bedpan’, and then dispose the contents in the ‘flusher’ in the utility room.

It didn’t take long for the students realize that a very strong bond was forming with their fellow classmates. They lived together, worked together, socialized together for an intense three years. They laughed together, cried together, initiated memorable events, and even broke the rules together. The ‘sisterhood’ became stronger in time, and distance and location after graduation didn’t diminish that bond.

I’ll be back next week with Part 2, adding more clues to the scene behind the title.

Tags: Story Nurses Duties Remember


Viewing 1 - 3 out of 3 Comments

02/22/2021 13:57:04

I look forward to the continuing story.  Nursing has to be the most noble of all work.

02/21/2021 13:46:06

Nurses are the best. I have great respect for them. It's not the easiest profession and it takes a special person to be in this field.

02/20/2021 23:48:42

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post today.  Those with such a vocation in life - I have always looked up to, with deepest admiration.  I'm filled with the sense of what your story delivered in abundance - the camaraderie of this fine and special group of students.  Thank you for sharing! 

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