Thursday, April 26, 2018

The New Nurse - circa 1965

Many thanks to Sue from Australia for discovering this vintage classic  of yesteryear's nursing practices.  The signing of papers before entering diploma school really brought back memories. We had to agree to several articles before entering school: Learn 4 pages of medical terminology before the first day of class, follow all rules in the student handbook, and be available to work any shift.

Those open casement windows reminded me of hospital renovations in the  1970s at our beloved institution of training. Old wooden double hung windows were replaced with inward tilting aluminum  casements and older nurses had a fit. It was a dirty little secret that nurses emptied urinals and even Gomco suction bottles out those spacious old windows. The inward tilt of the casements made the act of hurling excrements over board much more difficult.  I wrote a post about this disgusting practice and was careful to give open windows a wide berth when walking outside.

Thanks again Sue, for this incredible time capsule of old school nursing.


  1. Great little video! Too sweet ~ nowhere is blood, guts or poop mentioned!

  2. I'm watching this while an IV infusion pump alarm is bleeping in the background. Give me a time machine and I will be the first to board! 1965 here I come.

  3. I was delighted to see you enjoyed it OFRN - it's a gem isn't it?

    Interesting you noticed the windows - I noticed the white uniforms (blue being the usual colour here) and a Sister wearing a cap not a veil - I have never come across this, as here a cap was a sign of trainee status and a Sister (RN) always wore a veil. So that really surprised me given New Zealand is next door, only 3 hours across the pond from Sydney.

    I chuckled all the way through it, it's so carefully scripted - but it is rather delightful too. Whoever had a sweet Matron like that - they were terrifying beings!

    Love the badges they wear - NZ trained nurses all wore the same badge (pin!) - with the letters "NZRN" engraved on the bar at the top. They were quite large and rather lovely.

    It's so careful not to show any of the unpleasant sides of nursing - but hospitals had to recruit madly back then (and also in my day nearly a decade later) as they constantly needed plenty of new trainees to staff the wards. So they didn't want to show anything that might put off potential candidates of course!

    Hope it gives some young whippersnappers a laugh or two... cheers, S!

  4. PS: I don't mean to flood your blog with videos but I came across this American one from the 1940s some time ago and it's also informative if more serious. Just for your interest, if you haven't already come across it. Hope the link works..Best wishes, Sue.

    ▶ 10:32

    1. Trying again..!