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
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
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
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?