By Norah Cassidy
IT is quite common to hear an adolescent girl express the "wish" to become a nurse. Usually this means that in her imagination she sees herself as a calm figure wearing an immaculate white cap and a spotless blue and white uniform gliding around a ward and laying a soft, white, cool hand on a fevered brow and hearing the sufferer say "Thank you, Nurse".
So much for the dream. What of the reality, how is it possible to make it come true?
The girl who wishes to become a nurse must first of all he prepared to serve the sick and to serve them to the best of her ability.
Training to Become a Nurse Alt nurse training in this country is controlled by the General Nursing Council for England and Wales. This statutory body was established under the Nurses Registration Act 1919. Candidates who successfully pass the examinations are awarded the certificate and badge of the Council and are allowed to wear the special outdoor uniform denoting their qualifications.
In cases of misdemeanour the Council has the power to discipline the nurse by removing her name from their records and withdrawing her certificate and badge.
Three years '
Three years training is necessary to become a State Registered Nurse and two years to become a State Enrolled Nurse. Candidates for training must be at least 171 years of age, for State Registration it is necessary to have the G.C.E., for State Enrolment a good standard of general education is required.
During training student and pupil nurses receive the following allowances:— Indoor uniform is provided and four weeks annual holiday is given. Nurses work a 44-hour week. On completion of training salaries are increased according to the niche the nurse finds in the profession.
The student for State Registration must be prepared to work and study hard to attain a high degree of nursing skill and National President to the Catholic Nurses Guild of Great Britain and President of the International Committee of Catholic Nurses.
knowledge of technical procedures. During training she will receive a recognised course of instruction from the tutors and medical staffs of the hospital, When she has passed the final examination and holds the title of State Registered Nurse. the world is her oyster.
The newly-qualified nurse is advised by the matron and tutor about the next step in her chosen career. She may take a second certificate e.g. midwifery, after which she may become. a district nurse or health visitor.
If hospital work is her choice, after a period as a Staff Nurse she will be promoted to the rank of Ward Sister, many nurses prefer this to the higher grades of the hospital service, e.g. Sister Tutor, Assitant Matron or Matron, all of which require a special training.
The State Enrolled Nurse is essentially a practical or bedside nurse, therefore the training of the pupils places emphasis on this fact. The training covers a wide field of general, geriatric and children's nursing, instruction following a . recognised syllabus is given by tutors and ward sisters.
When her training is completed she is a valuable member of the hospital ward team.
Girls with a love of children can take a three years course of training in children's nursing only.
Men and women are often attracted to the large mental hospitals in our midst, this is a highly specialised training requiring great patience and kindness.
Particulars of the different types of training can be obtained from the matrons of the local hospitals.
All this seems to be a long way removed from the dream of the adolescent, but it can be the fulfilment of a vocation that is
often said to be second only to the religious.
In what profession can one have the opportunity of doing the work one wants to do and at the same time carry out everyday the Corporal Works of Mercy. What were the words of Our Lord: "If you give a cup of water in My Name . . ." how many cups of water does a nurse give in the course of the day? Often the nurse is the instrument used by God to bring the strayed soul back to the Church. many, many times it is her toy to prepare for Jesus coming to the sick in Holy Communion,
Hers is a privileged place in the world, she holds a unique place in the life of the community. She is present at the birth of the child, she is present at the illness of a beloved parent or child, at the deathbed she can help the patient with her prayers and nursing skill.
Many times she will recall her dream when she hears those words, words that come from the depth of the heart and mean everything : "Thank you, Nurse."