Nursing sixty years ago

I started nursing sixty years ago this week at Royal Perth Hospital. What a milestone! It was winter, 1955. Winters were wetter then, and seemed colder.

Royal Perth hospital where I began nursing sixty years ago.
Royal Perth hospital where I began nursing sixty years ago. The eight-storey blocks were brand new.

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Walking speed predicts seniors’ life expectancy

Walking speed

Walking speed, so it seems, can be a predictor of a person’s life expectancy. Much like vital signs such as pulse and blood pressure. Or how much a person weighs and how much alcohol they drink or exercise they do. Last year, medical scientists labelled loneliness as a useful predictor of a person’s health and life-span. I wrote a blog, ‘Is loneliness the next big health threat?’.

The new threat is walking slowly.

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The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernan – book review

Cover The Good Turn

With The Good Turn, award-winning author Dervla McTiernan demonstrates once more her considerable skills as story-teller and writer. As in her two previous books, The Rúin and The Scholar (reviewed here), characters Detective Cormac Reilly and Garda Peter Fisher encounter crime and police corruption. Important aspects of their personal lives emerge to intrigue the reader. The Good Turn also features an apparently unrelated murder, which is eventually resolved.

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Nursing comparisons now and 1955

nursing comparisons

Nursing comparisons between today and the olden days, when nurses trained in an apprenticeship system, make me laugh. Recently some nurses exchanged ideas about this topic on Facebook.

I was seventeen years old when I began to train as a nurse in 1955. Then, nurses in Western Australia became indentured to the Health Department. Actually, our fathers signed the papers that bound us for the next three years. Most people went straight from school to the hospitals to train. They were well under the legal age to enter into contracts when they started.

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Poetry, permission and how to make lentil soup

poetry, lentil soup

Poetry as a response to a recent blog post surprised and delighted me. I had written about grief and loss. You can read the original at Baby steps on the road to recovery My dear granddaughter, Jane-Heloise, sent me a copy of a lovely poem on the same theme by acclaimed American poet, Jane Hirshfield. The title, Da Capo, is a musical term which means ‘from the beginning’.

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Witness by Louise Milligan – a review

Witness by Louise Milligan

Witness: An investigation into the brutal cost of seeking justice by Louise Milligan deserves its place on the Stella short-list (2021). Witness provides a frightening account of what it can mean to be the complainant in a sexual assault case.

Few people report sexual assault to the police. Fewer still take their case to court. It is almost impossible for alleged predators to be found guilty. This book makes clear why this happens in Australia.

Louise Milligan exposes flaws in the system. She demonstrates it as callous, sexist and ‘weighted towards the rich and powerful’. She calls for change.

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Baby steps on the road to recovery after loss

Baby steps to recovery

Baby steps. The concept resonates. Do one small thing. Then another.

Brush your hair. Put bread and cheese on the table. Water the plants. Rest often. Talk. Cry. Find a comfortable space to be. Fold the washing. Put the socks in drawers and fresh sheets on the bed. Take care of yourself. Ask for comfort. Comfort those who need you.

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Songlines: The Power and Promise – a review

Songlines: The Power and  Promise

Songlines: The Power and Promise by Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly provides a compelling and in-depth discussion about part of the culture of Indigenous Australians.

The authors point to a way forward in which all Australians can benefit from an increased understanding of Indigenous culture. See below for more about the Margo Neale and Lynne Kelly.

Songlines are the means of storing and earning knowledges, ancient and modern. They are stories embodied in the land, sea and skies to be remembered and passed on through song, dance, art, ceremony and, most importantly, through attachment to Country.

From the back cover, Songlines: The Power and Promise

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Confessions of a house cleaner tragic

the house-cleaner tragic

A house cleaner tragic through and through, I’ve enjoyed cleaning my own house all my adult life. I find it meditative, creative and satisfying. But, at 80+ I finally decided to take the plunge and employ a cleaning firm that specialises in working in apartments.

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Child Protection stories and my involvement

Child protection stories

Child Protection stories don’t sound like a lot of fun. But, always optimistic, I expect my newest venture, work with the Family Integration Network, WA, to be satisfying and enjoyable. That’s not just for me, but also for the participants in a group who want to write stories about how involvement with the Department of Child Protection affects their lives.

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