9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Lovers of Call The Midwife Will Love This,
This review is from: Nightingales on Call: (Nightingales 4) (Kindle Edition)
I don't usually like reading a book midway through a series and Nightingales on Call is the fourth book in this series by Donna Douglas. I needn't have worried as soon as I read the first few pages I was hooked and immersed in the lives of the nurses from Nightingale Hospital.
It took a brave girl to train to be a nurse in the 1930's. It was a very strict, like being in the army. The ward sisters were like dragons and the nurses terrified of putting a foot wrong. All day they scrubbed floors and bedpans, made beds so tightly that a coin had to bounce off them. I found it quite sad that after three years of training a nurse had to give it all up if she wanted to be married. All that hard work for nothing, it's a pity the hospital board didn't give a thought about all the effort to train the girls just to let them go.
This book follows the girl's rotation on the children's ward. We follow Dora, Lucy and a few of their friends who only have three months left before they are staff nurses. Effie begins as a probationer following in the footsteps of her successful sisters but doesn't expect the hard work she is faced with.
I really liked the character of Jess who begins a job as a ward maid mainly cleaning the nurse's homes and looking after the home sister's needs. Jess is told she is worth less than the student nurses and she has not to speak to them but she becomes friends with Effie the probationary much to the displeasure of some of the other girls.
We learn more about the home life of the nurses than we do in the TV series Call the Midwife but if you're a fan you will enjoy this book too. Knowing what the nurses have to face at home gives you an understanding of why some of them are not so nice on the wards,everyone has a different story.
Life on the children's ward was a bit grim for the patients. Visits from parents were only allowed once a month and the children were mostly left to cry without being comforted especially if sister was around.
Kind hearted Dora would love to be a children's nurse but she doesn't agree with the hands off policy implemented.
I enjoyed this book from start to finished, none of it was slow and I grew to love the nurses and even some of the sisters. Now I have finished this book I want to start at the beginning and read the first three one after the other and I'm hoping there is a number five being written at this very moment.