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on 26 December 2010
A wonderful piece of nostalgia for all "Old School" nurses and auxiallary nurses out there. The ward Sister used to be fiercely adamant about the high standards on her particular ward. Heaven help you, as a trainee, if you allowed those standards to drop.....even slightly!!! The Matron was God and even Consultants quavered under her steely gaze. It sounds horrendous to the uninitiated.....but the truth is, it was so very, very special. This book captures those days absolutely, a superb read.
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on 10 September 2011
I trained in 1981 and was one of the last 'old school' trained nurses.
So many things were unchanged so this book had a real nostalgiac feel to it.
However I found some of the responsibilities unbelievable, although it was a time of "monkey see, monkey do, monkey teach" it was unlikely a second year student nurse would be left to suture a wound with no training whatsoever. Assist in suturing and dress a wound yes but to go in and suture a wound without even being trained is probably a little unbelievable.
Also as an A and E nurse for over 11 years I was of the belief the (Manchester) Triage system was first introduced to the hospitals in the 1990's and was never in place prior to this other than on battlefields ( where it was adapted from )
After saying that I have enjoyed the book and feel many old school nurses would too.
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on 22 November 2010
An excellent book bringing back many happy memories of training in '50's & 60's, when nurses really did look after people in a truly caring way. Strict discipline did none of us any harm, but gave us a real sense of belonging to "our group."
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on 10 January 2011
Read this book several yaars ago wnen it was first published. I trained at LGI '60 - 64 and what wonderful, scary, but rewarding years they were. This book took me back to that time (think I'm actually on one of the photos!!!) I still remember the panic if I saw Matron coming towards me on the corridor as something was bound to be amiss with my appearance. What a difference to nurses today - their slovenly appearance is, I feel, often reflected in their work. Where's the connection now with patients, the love, the laughter, the pain that we all shared? The 'powers that be' in the NHS should study this book and get our Hospitals and nursing training back on track. My one grudge is that I said for years I'd write a book about my nursing days - but well done, Jennifer I couldn't have bettered this. My husband read it recently and he said it brought back all those memories of waiting for me outside the Nurses Home and making sure he got me there in time for my shift - no excuses accepted if late. It was hard, it was disciplined but the fun was irreplacable. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
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on 11 January 2011
My sister gave me this book as I was in school just up the road from LGI in the 50's and she thought it would be of interest. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it despite not having a nursing background but was mistified with Chapter 18. The author says in the Preface that the events she describes are true but I have no recollection of any IRA bombing in the centre of Leeds in 1955. Did the events in casualty that day actually take place and were they due to some other disaster? Can anyone enlighten me?
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on 4 April 2011
I trained at St Mary's Paddington 1976-79 but this book has made me remember so many things I had long forgotten ...... Dreading patients requesting Horlicks on the evening drinks round as it took forever to make a smooth paste! Working on a male orthopaedic ward and having to stay one jump ahead of the injured but otherwise healthy young men . Learning from your senior nurses and then very soon finding yourself passing on that knowledge to more junior nurses . Starched caps going floppy in the rain and the fear of Sisters and Nursing Officers .... but then if anything ever went badly wrong or you were in need of support they turned out the be the kindest, most empathetic people you could meet. They were very , very special days & would recommend this book to any "old school " nurses out there .... you will be transported back in time & find yourselves smiling !
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on 1 February 2011
I really enjoyed this book, very interesting. A must read for anyone who has been in the nursing profession. It reminded me so much of my experiences when I was training in the mid 60s. Jennifer takes us behind the scenes with her stories and there are lots of amusing bits that will keep you smiling all the way through. These were the days of hands on hard work without the equipment they have today.
I am holding on to this book,its special, its part of our nursing history.
happy reading to all nurses.
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on 10 October 2010
Well I bought this book last week - I find it so interesting. Those Nurses in training didnt get much free time. I have been in hospital several times in recent years and you dont see the tidy wards and corridors like in the fifties. I dont think there is the personal touch to patients in wards any more u are a number only - in this book Nurses had a kind heart and kind words for their patients. I guess there are a number of nurses in the 1950s who would love to read this book. So get the book its more than interesting. The nurses of today will be quite shocked how the nurses of the 1950s were trained.
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on 21 April 2016
I have enjoyed this book, but in common with many other reviewers, I find the inclusion of a fictitious IRA bombing in Leeds, to be a strange thing for the author to do. The foreword by Jennifer Craig states the book is a true account of her training at the LGI although some people had been given different names. A bombing is a major incident and during such incidents the emergency services are stretched to their limits. Their courage and dedication to doing their best to help the public is displayed. I have no doubt that had Jennifer Craig and her colleagues dealt with such a major incident, they would have dealt with it professionally and with compassion-but I can't understand why such an incident was included in the book if it had not happened. I have researched the "incident" and found nothing. I am born and bred in West Yorkshire and I have never heard of such an incident and neither have friends or family.. In the 1970s the atrocity which was the M62 coach bomb occurred, which killed service personnel. This is still remembered and had such an incident occurred in the 1950s in the centre of Leeds, I am sure we would have known about it and that there would be some kind of memorial to the victims.
Apart from this, I enjoyed the story of the nurses training, although some nurses of the era have questioned some of the accounts of procedures and certain nursing duties. I think the best thing that shines through the book is the humour, the companionship and, most importantly, the obvious care and respect for the patients.
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on 3 June 2012
Reading this book, I could have been reading about my own experiences when training as a nurse in 1950s Yorkshire. It is totally truthful, with descriptions which do not shy away from the reality of a student nurse's work then. I had to remind myself that the author was writing about Leeds General Infirmary and not my own training school in Doncaster. I shall keep this book so that my own family can know what their grandmother's life and work was really like in those far off days!
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