Marilyn Hills


Came the morning of the 15th September, 1964; this was the day I had been waiting for since the previous July when I had been -appointed Verdala School Nurse. What would it bring forth? I had nursed old and young, very ill and not so ill, but never healthy children before. What would it be like? I was soon to know. My first morning, which fortunately for me was a record, otherwise I am sure I would not be trying to write this article, I had 97 minor cases in the space of four hours! It was like a conveyor belt, in and out and it was only when I heard one small child say to a friend, "She wears a thing on her head:' that I realised it was curiosity bringing them in. Nurse! Nurse! How well I remember my first serious case, surrounded by crowds of children many of whom were collected en route. I had already been informed that a little boy was bleeding "ever such a lot," and went to meet him. Everyone tried to tell me at the same time what had happened. The blood was all over the place; I have never seen so much and as usual no hanky (Mothers please note!) When the blood was washed off it proved to be just a simple nose bleed. My busiest time was in winter, especially wet days. One has to see Verdala on a wet day to believe it. Puddles, puddles everywhere. My clothing cupboard was soon empty as one bedraggled infant after another came to be changed. Although we keep them in as much as we can on wet days it is surprising how quickly some children can get wet in just going across the playground for dinner, and quite often my clothing never gets returned either! Each term I inspect the children's hair and in the summer term their feet before they go swimming. It is lovely seeing them in the water, and better still to go in with them as I try to do with the Infants, and it is very seldom you see one cry. When I first came the climbers were a source of worry to me. There were visions of fractured bones daily but it turned out to be blistered hands from the rope climbers. Of course in my year I had a few fractures and how good those children were; far better than many an adult I have attended to. Dental inspections were done in the autumn term and medical examinations by the School Doctor on an average of once a week. For this, the nurse weighs and measures the children and gives them a routine eye test. Some children took off bandages from sore fingers and hands etc., which had been so carefully put on by Mum and then came to me for treatment, which I did. Judge my amazement when I received letters telling me not to touch "such and such" as it is being attended to. Now I generally ask for a note from Mum before interfering. The young scamps. There were the polio sugar lumps to issue to the children requiring them. For this Mr Mayo, the medical clerk, gave me great assistance, because believe it or not some say they do not like sugar and we have had a hard job getting them to take it! One of my amusing incidents was when Commander Newbery was speaking to me in Sick Bay and a little Infant appeared. When I asked him what was the matter, this was his reply, "Well, I went and couldn't, then I could, but in the wrong place." Exit the Headmaster, while small boy and nurse retire to the bathroom. Fortunately there is always plenty of hot water for such accidents as these. Well I have been here nearly 15 months now and am I happy? Yes, very, very happy. When a small child puts her little arms round you and says, "I do love you, you are just like my Grannie," what greater compliment can anyone have?