Thursday, 23 June 2011

Nurse on Call - Edith Cotterill

Synopsis - Training in a hospital in the 1930's, Edith Cotterill's long hours on the wards included encouraging leeches to attach to patients and the disposal in the furnace of amputated limbs.  Although hospital life did have its compensations - it was there during the war that she met an injured sailor who was to become her husband.

After the birth of two daughters, Edith returned to work in the 1950's as a district nurse.  Whether she was ridding ageing spinsters of fleas or dishing out penicillin and enemas, Edith always approached even the most bel;ligerant of patients with humour, compassion and warmth.

Review - This is the autobiographical memoir of Edith Cotterill a nurse during wartime and later the 1950's.  This book is light and entertaining and I am sure those in the medical profession today would find these anecdotes highly amusing.  I am sure nursing has come along way since then.  Edith covers her life from childhood, her time as an assistant to a dog breeder through to her training as a nurse.  We go back to family life as a married woman and coping with bringing up her daughters as well as working all hours as a district nurse in the 1950's.  The book covers death as well as life and I am sure would appeal to many.  Personally, I prefer a heavier read but if you are on holiday, convalescing and what something light and amusing, then this may be the book for you.  2*

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