Fond memories of nursing life
The Price family was well-known in the village of Carcroft - and it was all down to their career choice.
For John, Marion, Ruth and Jean all became nurses.
Marion - now Worrall - remembers her nursing days well.
Life under the watchful eye of a matron was tough but she wouldn’t have had it any other way, said the former district nurse, who is now 83. Marion started her nurses training in the early 1950s at the Montagu Hospital, Mexborough, and stayed in nurses’ accomodation where strict rules had to be obeyed. “The matron wanted to know about everything you were doing. If you wanted to go the cinema you had to tell her how long you would be and who you were going with and you daren’t be late back.”
“You also had to complete a large list of chores most days and ensure the cuffs and collars for your uniform were pressed correctly at all times.” She added: “If you started a day of training at the hospital with a ladder in your tights or a loose button you’d be sent home to change. A spotless uniform was an important part of the job in those days.” Despite this Marion says the absence of matrons on wards up and down the country is a real shame as they are ‘a real asset on every ward they’re on.’ The first of four siblings to take up nursing, Marion Worrall was just a teenager in the 1940s when she first realised she wanted to be a nurse after completing a first aid course at the Bullcroft Colliery, near Carcroft.
“I found the first aid training very exciting and it was after that I knew nursing was the job for me,” she said.
Marion says the good example rubbed off on her brother John, and sisters Ruth and Jean who soon followed suit and started their nurses’ training not long after.
“We were very well known in the area, and people would often say ‘oh there goes someone from that nursing family’ which was quite nice,” she said.
Marion trained for three years in total, completing the necessary Queen’s Institute of District Nursing training to become a district nurse.
Shortly after her training Marion went on to become a district nurse in the Carcroft area, and says the days were long and she needed to balance attending meetings with doctors with making house calls and keeping the nurses she was in charge of in line. “It was quite tough, because really you wanted to spend more time with your patients on house calls but because you had to get round so many people it just wasn’t possible,” she said. The duties of a district nurse ranged from giving a patient an enema to fitting a catheter to disciplining a student nurse.
The former nurse says she’ll never forget her years as a district nurse and says her favourite part of the job was caring for the terminally ill and giving “everything you could to them, and holding their hand when they needed it.” All of Marion’s house calls were made on her bike throughout the year, but she says her dad was a “godsend” and would often rescue her in really bad weather and drive her to see her patients.
On the subject of how nursing has changed Marion says she thinks the standard of care they were able to offer when she was a nurse was higher because they had more staff and were able to spend longer with patients
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