Fancy a trip down memory lane? Here are just a few of our stories and memories. We all have dozens that we can remember and share. If you would like to add your story or recollections to this page, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Wards – My first ward was St Luke’s Male Surgical ward. Men!! Shock horror!. We had only done our practise on women! On my first day the ward was very busy, two patients had died. I was asked to go with a third year nurse and deliver one of the bodies to the hospital mortuary. I had never seen a dead body before, and the patient was a very large, heavy man. After wheeling the trolley through the ward (where all the patient’s curtains were closed), we went down the back corridors, (with someone going ahead to check that no one was around), into a special lift, down to the ground floor and then through the outside courtyard to the back of the hospital.
As the senior in front stopped to knock on the closed door of the mortuary, the body started to slide backwards – towards me! I was horrified because I thought it was going to fall on top of me! Fortunately, the door opened before this happened. I have never forgotten that moment.
Joy Phillips (Nov ’61)
Belts – During our time in PTS, we were taken to visit a uniform shop called Floorgales which specialised in making ill-fitting nurses uniforms. Looking back, I consider that our group were partly responsible for, or at least contributed some, to the story reported in the Truth Newspaper around that time titled, ‘Why did the nurses lose their belts?’
The only way to make the aprons an even half way decent length was to turn them up at the waist under the belt. However, the intrepid Hospital Night Supervisor Miss Nellie Matthews was on to us, and at roll-call we all were told, ‘drop your belts’. Anyone found with their apron rolled up had their belts confiscated for a time. Some people were able to perform the task with such neatness that they ignored the instruction and were never discovered. Others waited until they were on the ward before rolling up the apron.
Jenny Davis (Nov ’61)
PTS Preliminary Training School
Extracts from the handbook given to all new arrivals at PTS.
A Nurse’s Prayer
Lord, this work I undertake,
For Thy name and for Thy sake.
Let all I do today
Be sanctified by Thee.
Clothe me with patient strength
All tasks to bear,
To cheer and comfort,
Through this and every day
A Nurse must be:
Obedient and loyal to all rules, as the foundation of her work;
Active, yet quiet;
Methodical, reliable, careful, clean and neat;
Observant, intelligent and economical;
Capable of self-control, persevering gentleness, tact, sympathy and common sense;
Careful to pay attention to professional etiquette, remembering what is due to those in authority;
Careful in manner and attention to Visitors or Patients’ friends, a duty Nurses in the pressure of their work are apt to overlook;
Careful to wear her uniform with spotless cleanliness, neatness, and simplicity; hair tidy, and general bearing that of military smartness;
Careful to be always guarded in her behaviour towards Doctors and Students.