Bond for nurses a lifelong thing
There's a comradeship between Timaru-trained nurses - and the bond they share was evident at their annual luncheon yesterday.
The sound of chatter filled the space at Benny's Again as 80 retired nurses and 10 practising nurses caught up on old times. The restaurant was filled to capacity, and there wasn't a man in sight.
Before the days of a degree requirement, Timaru Hospital was used as a training ground for young nurses.
The chairwoman of the ex-Timaru trained nurses, Karen Wright, said solid friendships were built in the hospital wards, and the comradeship is still strong today.
"There's a real camaraderie, especially amongst those who were in the same class together."
A new intake was recruited every six months. Helen Scott and Noeline Turnbull started their training in 1952 and have remained close friends since. Mrs Turnbull was 18 when she began and practised as a maternity nurse until she was married at 29.
"I met my husband during my first year of training and it was a great romance. In those days we didn't jump in, and many of our boyfriends were returned soldiers. We waited until we had a house built before we decided to be married," Mrs Turnbull said.
Two years into her marriage she became very ill after having a daughter.
"A nurse friend helped look after us and she stayed with us until she died." Mrs Turnbull's husband died last year, after a 30-year illness. She nursed him for the last five years of his life.
"I asked him to tell me when he was going to die because I said I'd go with him. It didn't work out like that, though - I'm still here."
She is very clear about the qualities a nurse needs. "First of all, you must have a love for people and you must have patience. You need to be able to put your feelings into the place of the person who is sick to understand how they are feeling."
- © Fairfax NZ News