Nursing Nostalgia

Tracey Williams, our Manager, led a very special session today in the Home Penpergwm House Residential HomeInstigated by the recent 1st dose of the vaccine; some of our Residents were reminded of their previous careers as nurses which prompted some wonderful conversations of some extraordinary past lives as you can imagine.  Tracey (an ex-nurse herself) wanted to take it one step further and create a safe and defined time to allow these medical memories and pride to be shared and valued. 
So with the help of some fantastic resources from Monmouthshire County Council Library and Jan Hobday, our Penpergwm House trainer – also an ex-nurse – a session was held today attended by Lorna and Dorina and Bettina (successfully via FaceTime) to have time to reminisce and share stories, memorabilia and photographs of their nursing careers.  Some of us, not in the know, learnt that wearing their nurse’s caps – for all of them I may add – was a vital sign of pride of their role and their commitment to their training. “It gave us authority..” and so before proceedings – Tracey had a nurse’s cap for each of them to wear.
Dorina Heuclin, 99, recalled her time at the Military Hospital in Maidstone – where she nursed casualties from the D Day bases in Normandy alongside Lorna Fildes, 93 who retold her times that were predominately spent nursing in Canada. The clarity of their recollections and the enormity of what these ladies have achieved in their life times just blew us all away.  We could have listened to them all day…. Bettina’s nursing led to her daughter Jan training to be a nurse and her granddaughter also following them both into nursing. What a legacy to the profession!
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This will be the first of more sessions like this – where we celebrate the social histories of our clients and remind them how extraordinary they truly are.