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on 4 November 2002
We initially bought this book as a gift for my husband’s sisters, both of whom trained in UK hospitals in the 1950s. Based on their glowing reviews, I decided to read it myself.
I am not a nurse nor am I from the U.K., but I am a contemporary of Jennifer Craig. Her book “spoke” to me. It made me realize, again, how narrow were the expectations for women in the 50s and yet how much we accomplished within those restraints -- not only in terms of career-training but in terms of just plain having fun.
Craig’s description of the range of personalities that she had to deal with -- the sisters, the matrons, the housemen, the specialists, the other nurses -- parallels the task we all face in getting along with our co-workers. We have learned much.
Certainly, the tasks and training of the 50s turned out sterling candidates -- and the gratitude we feel towards a compassionate and efficient nurse is still too often unexpressed.
This book is not only good reading for those of us who grew up in the 30s and 40s but a wonderful source of information to any young woman contemplating nursing as a career.
Craig has a deft touch and a wonderful sense of humour, as well as a strong sense of justice which I imagine has served her all her life. Hers is a most enjoyable book.
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on 19 February 2007
So many nursing memoirs seem to be written after looking back through extremely rose-tinted spectacles, but "Yes Sister, No Sister" provides a very fair and balanced perspective of the old style training in the 1950s.

She does not shrink from criticising aspects of her training and pointing out its various shortcomings, as well as detailing the occassional bullying that sometimes occurred. But it is clear that the author loved her work and was extremely attached to LGI, where she trained.

As a student nurse I found her book to be very interesting, and it is clear that Jennifer Craig was far ahead of her time regarding mentoring young students.
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on 4 October 2009
A lovely, warm account of nursing in the days when nurses wore starched pinnies and silly hats, when matrons actually held power and ward sisters were invincible.A variety of ward experiences keep the reader entertained and the changes to health care are slowly revealed as the years pass and the author rises through the nursing ranks from student to night sister.
I worked at Leeds General Infirmary in the sixties and I can recognise many of the settings described in the book making it a truly authentic little book. Well worth read, I wish there was a sequel!
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on 4 July 2009
A nurse myself, I really enjoyed reading this story of nursing in the 1950s. All the camaraderie sounded wonderful, and the fun avoiding those battleaxe sisters!

There was some humour too, particularly the snippets at the beginning of each chapter.

It was great to learn about life in one of the country's most famous hospitals.

I think it is a shame that a lot of the friendship and fun seems to have disappeared from nursing nowadays.

A really good read.
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on 6 July 2009
I gave this book to my mother who is in her mid 80's, to encourage her to sit and relax in the afternoon's and rediscover the pleasure of daytime reading. It worked a treat and she can report back that the book is "fantastic".

It might also be of interest to students attempting to underatand the roots of British nursing practice and understand what the service was like before and at the inception of the NHS.

Highly recommended.
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on 19 May 2010
Yes I was there 1950-1955 I enjoyed the book. Some of Craig's profiles of the "despots" were recognizable, and Ill admit, a few of them were callous and biased, but there were also unforgettable Sisters who gave us lifetime skills and a level of knowledge and self discipline that has unfortunately now gone from nursing education. That and the general insistence on the excellence of nursing care of the patient.
This same LGI education enabled me, 25 years later, to pass the US nursing exams with ease, with little or no review, and to restart a career that lasted another 30 years, and I wore my LGI badge until my retirement. Thank you LGI of the 1950s.
I will say that on my return to LGI for a reunion of my "set" in 2005, we saw somewhat tattered and sloppy looking nurses, which unfortunately reflects the look of some their colleagues in the US. However I am personally aware that their clinical skills would far exceed those of ours in the 1950s.
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on 19 May 2012
Having trained as a nurse myself this book brought back many memories. My only complaint is that it is not clear that it is the same book as "Yes Sister No sister a trainee nurse " other than this one has pictures. I had assumed that this was a sequel to the first.
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on 22 July 2013
i bought this book because iam a nurse it brought back many happy memoriies of my training but i found it to clinical
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on 5 May 2008
I really enjoyed this book and as I nurse it made me relise how much better off we in are now with less hours and more holidays at the same time I can't help but wonder how many student nurses would cope with the rigours of 1950s training when mang struggle to cope with their training in the 2000s.

My only problem that I had with the book is it tends to occasionally jump around a little leving you with under answered questions or making assumptions on other facts the author has said.
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on 13 October 2014
Excellent!
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