A Little Help from My Friends

One project that I have ignored for some time is the one collection of nursing stories.  Why nursing?  Because I was one.  Many years ago, I did my nursing training in a country hospital, and graduated in1966 as a registered nurse and worked in a number of hospitals in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland over the next 40 years.  Not all the time though, as I had a number of interesting other careers in the mean time.

I was in one book some years ago, What I Wish I Kew About Nursing – but I have always wanted to publish some of the funny stories about nursing, or stories that folk will find interesting.

So shortly I will be writing to my nursing friends and promoting my concept on other media, in order to collect stories for an anthology.  I already have a number of stories so will over the next twelve months just collect those stories with a view to having something published early in 2016.

In the 1960’s as student nurses we had to live in the nurses home.  At Mount Gambier, where I trained, it was a relatively modern building – four floors in a beautiful building overlooking the city of Mount Gambier.  The view was beautiful – especially on very cloudy days when the steeples of a couple of churches poked above the clouds.

We had a room each – with a single bed, a wardrobe, and a desk/dressing table along the side of the wall opposite the room.  I was fortunate for most of my three years living there to have a room on the side of the building which overlooked the city.  On each floor was a small kitchen, with stove, kitchen sink, refrigerator and electric jug and meagre crockery/cultery.  Also on each floor was a bathroom with two cubicles with baths, several showers and toilet cubicles.

A laundry was further along the corridor – with an washing machine with wringer, and an ironing board and iron.  On each floor was a lounge room, again with city views, and a small telephone box – for in those days there was only landlines.  No mobile phones then.

Matron and the senior staff had apartments of some sort on the ground floor – which also housed the Home Sister’s office, reception desk, small lounge and function room.

We were required to be in our rooms each night by 10.30 pm, but two nights a week we permitted “late leave” provided we wrote our names in a big book provided at the reception desk, and that then we arrived before midnight.

We were not permitted alcohol or males in our rooms.   Also any girl (there were no male student nurses for the three years I was there), who became pregnant or married, was required to leave.

Our hours of work were heavy.  We worked 48 hours a week in one of the five wards and two service sections (operating theatre and central sterile supply), and on top of that were required to attend lectures in our own time.  As well of course, we had to study, and if we had any spare time we could have a social life.

(to be continued)


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About Di Hill

My business card says "Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, Bamboo Fan, Workshop Presenter." This website will focus on my writing - and the workshops I present. Workshops on Blogging, Marketing for Writers, and Life Story Writing.
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