Saturday, 6 April 2013

66 - CSI Challenge - Anatomy of nurses training

This week's colours reminded me of our hospital colours which were red white and grey, so I decided to scrap a photo which is many years old, but it still makes me smile. The quality of the photo is bad, but it reminds me of an era, a different society and of friendship born of united goals.  One of my friends has died, another has had cancer and we are all old chooks, but what we shared was precious and deserves to be remembered.

The photo is one of three of my cobbers, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  As usual, I am behind the camera, so nothing much has changed there.  We were all country kids and therefore not quite up to snuff with the city slickers.  They probably out did us in the sartorial stakes, but we won hands down, with our work ethic and practicality.

Plaid or check pattern
Plain white background
Holes - punched on the border
Drawing - doodled arrows

I chose to start my writing with “Anatomy of.....” and went on with details about Nursing training in the sixties.

Trainee Nurses were not allowed to continue their training if they got married.  We worked up to 60 hours a week, staying on duty until chores were completed. There was no provision for part time work. We earned less than $25.00 for our 60 hour week.

If unwell, we had to dress in full uniform, walk to Matron’s Office across the 
quadrangle and be examined by her.  She would then decide if we were crook enough to have a day in bed.  All sick leave had to be made up at the end of the course. A fine incentive not to “swing the lead.”

Whilst on Night Duty, we got out of bed to attend 2 p.m. Doctor’s lectures.  

Late leave to go out at night, was requested from the Home Sister, the one in charge of the Nurses Home where we all lived.   Only one late leave a week was permitted and begrudgingly approved by this self appointed moral guardian of our virtue. Nurses Home doors were locked at midnight, too bad if we weren’t Home.  Punishment for being late home was extra cleaning duties and no leave at all for a month.

This sign was placed in front of the Nurses Home, supposedly to stop Nurses kissing 
and cuddling their boyfriends in the car after a night out. To ensure no such liberties were taken, Home Sister used to ride her wooden broomstick around to shine her torch into the cars. 

In the four years of training we grew from girls into women & made friendships which have lasted a lifetime.  We looked after each other through thick and thin and most of all we had fun on the journey.

Kaisercraft - white cardstock
Basic Grey - Patterned Paper, Wassail collection, D1448, Mantle, reverse side (red)
Basic Grey - Patterned Paper, Black Tie collection, D144, ( check)
My Mind’s Eye - Follow your heart collection, “Be amazing” reverse (spots)
My Mind’s Eye - Boy Crazy, Decorative buttons
Michelle Singh’s downloadable art - Heart and the arrows
Prima alphabet - Sunrise Sunset collection # 562984
Tape ribbon -  Craft Queen
E.K. Success Punch - Binding edge



  1. I love that you have given even more background here. No wonder I could not recognise you in the photo. I should have know. I just love your writing style, it is entertaining and draws you right in so you feel as if you are right there, part of it and that is wonderful. This layout is wonderful.

  2. such a breathtaking layout Helen and you have a gift with words . always love reading how you express life x

  3. Oh Helen ,love ,love, love this!!Your work never fails to amaze!

  4. This is fantastic...your journaling took me on such a journey & haven't things changed!!! Love that photo, too....gorgeous work:):):)

  5. This is super Helen! I love the journalling and the story, certainly gave me an insight into your nursing years! Love the really nailed this challenge and I love it! ;-)

  6. I came by to thank you for your kind comment on my blog :-). This lay-out is awesome! I love your style!

  7. Hmmm... My comment just disappeared. So I'm sorry if I'm posting this twice. I came by to thank you for your kind comment :-). And this lay-out is awesome! I love your style!

  8. Aaaah!! my gosh how I love your journalling! Made me chuckle! I think those typical head nurses have existed for eons in all places he he ;)) Would have loved to see you too but it figures you're behind the camera. Love love love this layout Helen!! xoxox