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Not your Average Nurse: The Entertaining True Story of a Student Nurse in 1970s London Paperback – 18 May 2017
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A lively, entertaining and nostalgic memoir by a bestselling writer about training and practising as a nurse in 1970s London.
About the Author
Maggie Groff is an award-winning novelist, columnist and non-fiction writer living and working in Australia. As a young woman in England she trained as a state registered nurse at King’s College Hospital, London, and worked at several London hospitals before securing a position as an in-house nurse at Selfridges. From there Maggie went on to pursue a richly varied and, at times, unusual nursing career. Aware that her daughter had no knowledge of her working life prior to becoming an author, she was inspired to write this memoir.
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Top customer reviews
Maggie Groff writes with humour and compassion that draw you into the life a student nurse in the 1970’s, despite the hard work, the heartbreak the author also shares her humorous memories, the parties, breaking the rules, and living the student life in London which made for a captivating read. The author shares her fears and heartbreak, her joys and frustrations, and her memories of the patients she cared for.
I couldn’t help but smile as she described some scenes as it reminded me very much of my own introduction to nursing. I did have a small niggle with this book as a student, the author complained about the low pay (which it was) but still managed to holiday in Ibiza and shop at Habitat. I’m sure this wasn’t the case for most of the student nurses during this era, as many struggled to live day to day on their low wages, after they had paid for lodgings, laundry and food, but that’s only my opinion and no way distracted from an entertaining read.
Not Your Average Nurse is a honest and candid autobiography that brings the caring vocation of nursing in the 1970’s vividly back to life. Played out against the march of feminism and fashion, IRA bombings and the iconic music and movies of almost half a century ago. This book won’t be for everyone but if you enjoy reading memoirs and books of this theme then this might just be the book for you, both my parents read it and throughly enjoyed the trip down memory
Any student nurse is a fascinating, enjoyable but sometimes poignant glimpse into nursing and life in 1970's London. Firstly I loved Maggie. She is such a strong, confident lady who isn't afraid to stand up for herself and others when needed. I really enjoyed reading about her exploits with her friends and colleagues. It was very funny to hear what they got up to both at work and in their spare time. I wanted to be a part of their group enjoying the social life in London with them.
It was very educational for me to learn about the differences between nursing then compared with nursing now. With a lot of modern techniques and treatment not available, nursing then seemed quite primitive. It was fascinating to find out how things were done then. It was also interesting to discover more about how nurses and women were viewed then. There seemed to be a lot of sexism towards women stil. The poor pay, hours and working conditions were attributed to the fact that nursing was mainly a female career. It was great to read about Maggie and her colleagues attempt to fight against this.
To me the most enlightening part of the book was learning more about the different types of nursing available, outside of a hospital. Who knew there was a thing called Industrial nursing, that involved nurses working in shops or theatres and that a nurse might be needed in a convent. I certainly didn't!
The tales of some of the patients Maggie nursed throughout the years were quite poignant. Learning how their experiences during the war had caused their current condition was heart breaking at times. As was her accounts of how illnesses caused by living conditions which couldn't always be helped. It was lovely to hear how the NHS helped treat such people back then. There was such warmth and compassion shown to them, which was lovely to read about and probably wouldn't happen now.
This is not Maggie Groff's first book but it is the first book of hers that I have read. I will definitely be going back and reading some more of her work as I enjoyed this one very much.
Huge thanks to Rosie Margesson and Transworld publisher s for providing me with a copy of this book. If you enjoyed the Call The Midwife books you'll love this one!