Thursday, 23 April 2020

Happy St George's Day!

I decided to post a blog that's been fun to create because I've had a good 24 hours - need a bit of light relief in these hard times.  Travel medicine was the first thing in my career that came near to the excitement my time as a ward sister of a female medical ward (Ogle) at St. George's Hospital in Tooting evoked.

But yesterday I received an e mail from Mandy Galloway, the Editor of Practice Nurse Journal.  She had received an e mail from Practice Nurse Manager Oonagh Atkinson who wrote to say that she had subscribed to the journal since 1993 and she wanted to give thanks as she recognised the journal as a superb resource which had helped her to keep up to date with current practice nursing issues and learn about new areas.  She also said the following!  I have particularly enjoyed reading Jane Chiodini's Travel Health Updates. I worked as a student nurse on Ogle Ward at St George's Hospital in 1983 where Jane was the ward sister. She was a wonderful ward sister and mentor then and I have found her articles and resources excellent.  And I remember Oonagh so well too, I saw her in a Holiday Inn near Surrey University where I was delivering a study day in 2010.  I also have a photo of her in Il Carretto's in Streatham where we went for a leaving meal for one of the Staff Nurses who was leaving, the memory of that event is strong and the amazing 'chicken kievs' served up as well at the restaurant, sadly no longer trading!

Ogle was a 25 bedded Nightingale Ward, it was very busy and the work heavy but I loved it so much.  Well that then set up an e mail exchange with Beverley Bostock who is the Editor in Chief of Practice Nurse Journal who had also trained at St George's and it turned out we had many people we know in common, including Ruth Amartey (nee Holgate) who is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Lead for Nursing  in the Waltham Forrest Training Hub (CEPN) and with whom I've provided travel health study days for a number of years now!  That led me to contact two friends on FaceBook who were staff nurses on Ogle and a little chat then pursued with them.  And all this discussion happening on St. George's Day!  So if you knew me in the past (and I've met a few on study days) or you trained at St George's and have anything to share then perhaps e mail me via my website - I'd love to compile some historical memories together.

 In the nurses office of Ogle Ward writing up the Kardex!  

I was featured in a careers magazine - right hand pictue, middle row! My twin nephews picked the mazine up in the school library and were excited to see their Aunt on the cover - they are now 40! 

After a year working at St George's as a Staff Nurse one was awarded with a 'red belt' and a St George's buckle as a reward.  It was oval with George and the dragon in solid silver, mine had the Queen's Silver Jubiliee hallmark on it.  Loved the uniforms of those days although the hats were a nightmare to make.  I happened to have a 'flair' for them unfortunately - they had to have five pleats and three crowns on the top, with a very specific bow completing the work at the back!  I often got 'landed' with requests to make them for lots of other friends and colleagues - of course I did, but many would use them for weeks on end because they were so tricky to make - not sure infection control was a term we knew 'on our heads' but my hair was washed daily! We used to have some Royal Masonic nurses living in the nurses home, now their hats were even more complex!  I used to sing in the London Choirs for the Malcolm Sargeant Cancer Fund for Children at the Royal Festival Hall each Christmas - all the hats were on display there. The Bart's hats were my favourite!  

and lastly, my husband always buys me a rose on St George's Day - 
here's an image I shared earlier on Instagram!