Did I See A Ghost Nurse?

Scribbles

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#1
Over the last twenty years I've been struck by various random health issues and recently ended up back in hospital with what turned out to be a kidney infection and sepsis. I landed up on a ward in City Hospital, Birmingham (previously called Dudley Road Hospital) a massive Victorian place, which was to be demolished when the new hospital opened, but as all work on the new hospital has stopped due to the bankruptcy of Carillion who knows when that will happen.

At some point in an attempt at "infection control" they put me in a large side room on my own, which whilst I appreciated the peace, was a bit creepy. It was dead quiet in there. I could hear nothing of the happenings of the busy ward and felt isolated. It was also quite cold and when the temperature dropped with the bout of snow, I had to ask a nurse for extra blankets.

It was this nurse that helped spark an old memory of mine. As she tucked me up in cozy blankets, she said that because of the age of the building it was almost impossible to regulate the temperatures properly, and throughout the whole hospital it was either too hot or freezing cold. She mentioned that it had first been built as an infirmary attached to the workhouse, which I hadn't known. After she had gone, I picked up my phone and started Googling the history of the hospital and found out that the site had indeed also included Birmingham's workhouse. Only last year the building where families were admitted into the workhouse, which I had been very familiar with on my many trips to that hospital over the decades, was demolished. It had been called the Archway of Tears.

It got me thinking about the hospital in a new way. I have never liked the place, and had always put it down to the fact that I was in there being ill and so it held bad memories, but actually it is more than that. Modern medicine has been inserted into and disfigured a lot of the Victorian nature of the building, but something from the past constantly insists you remember it. And not in a pleasant way. Not in a way you might sense walking around an old country house or an ancient woodland. But in a way that tells you it was a place where misery dwelt.

And then I remembered "the oddly dressed Nurse". I figure it was thirteen or more years ago when I was in after an operation for a medical condition that changed the whole course of my life. I was in a small side ward off a main ward with five other patients. It was the custom then, though it doesn't seem to be now, that when there was a shift change the old nurses would come around and stand at the end of patients bed telling the new nurses about each patient. I found it quite rude actually, as you were talked about and not interacted with, as they stood there at the foot of your bed.

Anyway, invariably when the night shift took over this exchange happened when I was sleeping, and it usually woke me up. On this particular occasion I remember feeling really dozy and having to try hard to prize an eye open to take a peak at the nurses talking about me at the end of my bed. What I saw baffled me. My memory of the whole thing is vague and hazy, I have to admit, but the one thing that I cannot ever forget was the hat of the nurse who was talking. It was the most ridiculous headgear I had ever seen, with the starched white cotton sprouting up and over the nurses head like seagull wings. I remember feeling that I was owed an explanation as to why she was dressed so ridiculously, but of course I was being talked about not talked to. I don't recall what was being said about me, and I don't remember anything of the people around her. I do have an idea that the rest of her was just as formally dressed, and that I wanted her to go away.

Remembering this bizarre uniform, whilst still in hospital this year I looked it up and searched through pictures of nurses' uniforms for ages, before finally finding the image below. It turned out my Nurse was wearing a Cornette, described in wikipedia as thus:

"A cornette is a piece of female headwear. It is essentially a type of wimple consisting of a large, starched piece of white cloth that is folded upwards in such a way as to create the resemblance of horns (French: cornes) on the wearer's head. It was reported in The Times to have been "in fashion among the Ladies of Paris" in 1801,[1] made of muslin or gauze and richly ornamented with lace.

Use by the Daughters of Charity[edit]
The cornette was retained as a distinctive piece of clothing into modern times by the Daughters of Charity, a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life founded by St. Vincent de Paul in the mid-17th century.[2] The founder wanted to have the sisters of this new type of religious congregation of women, that tended to the sick and poor, and were not required to remain in their cloister, resemble ordinary middle-class women as much as possible in their clothing, including the wearing of the cornette.

After the cornette generally fell into disuse, it became a distinctive feature of the Daughters of Charity, making theirs one of the most widely recognised religious habits. Because of the cornette, they were known in Ireland as the "butterfly nuns". They abandoned the cornette on 20 September 1964. The modern nurses' cap or bonnet was created following the cornette's appearance and it depicts the humanitarianism of Daughters of Charity in nursing."



A painting of cornette-wearing Sisters of Charity by Armand Gautier (1825–1894)


You can see why I was surprised! That hat is really quite something. I did a lot more googling and couldn't find any reason that a Nurse's wimple that had long since been discontinued would turn up in modern Birmingham. I did ask one of the nurses about it too, and she just shrugged and said she'd never heard of it.

I don't know, maybe there is a small Daughter's of Charity group in Birmingham who still like to dress up to alarm the patients, but I would really like to think that I actually saw a ghost!
 

EnolaGaia

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#4
... It was the custom then, though it doesn't seem to be now, that when there was a shift change the old nurses would come around and stand at the end of patients bed telling the new nurses about each patient. I found it quite rude actually, as you were talked about and not interacted with, as they stood there at the foot of your bed. ...
Walking rounds during shift changes isn't just a custom It's the main way of ensuring arriving workers are updated on each patient for whom they'll be responsible for the next few hours.

On the other hand, the particular protocol(s) used for such shift change reviews vary among institutions, units within given institutions, and even among shifts.

The proliferation of automation and info tech within hospitals has allowed some places to forego physically visiting each patient / ward in favor of (e.g.) group meetings and / or individual workers' reliance on electronic records for patient familiarization and updating.
 

escargot

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#5
. It was the custom then, though it doesn't seem to be now, that when there was a shift change the old nurses would come around and stand at the end of patients bed telling the new nurses about each patient. I found it quite rude actually, as you were talked about and not interacted with, as they stood there at the foot of your bed.
Last time I worked on wards - a few years ago now - 'Report', as this process is known, was delivered in different places according to the ward custom.

It could be done at the bedside, at the 'Nurses' Station' or in an office. I could never understand why Report would be given where anyone but the staff could hear it. What happened to confidentiality? Not to mention the offensiveness of talking about someone in front of them.

Plus, sometimes the staff needed to know something before a patient did. (I can provide an example if anyone's interested.)
This necessitated a further, more secretive meeting.

Anyway, as you were.
 

Swifty

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#6
End of bed handovers never really bothered me as an inpatient, I was just grateful that whoever they were were being told to look after me. A couple of memorable ones I overheard were "This is Swifty, our resident DJ." (because I was playing music requests for the other patients all Christmas day from my laptop which spanned from an obscure woman singer from the late 40's that the guy swore I wouldn't be able to find all the way up to The Aphex Twin :)), and "This is Swifty, he helped us stopping **** running off last night." (because a huge ginger lad was going through some heavy meds and legged it to the toilet until I convinced him he was in hospital, he was a patient like me, I didn't have his girlfriends home number and he was freaking out the nurse so he had to get back in bed. One of the HCA's said "you should be a HCA" so I said "I was about 20 years ago?"). Regarding that same ginger lad, the end of bed handovers were happening, a new wave of student nurses were at the end of his bed with the charge nurse who said "This is ****, his obs remained stable last night, he's with us because he was drinking three bottles of whisky a day" .. "well that's a bit stupid.." piped up one of the students .. "I'M NOT STUPID!" .. I overheard the charge nurse say to the student "I'll talk you about this later" .. we used to throw biscuits to each other because he was barrier nursed.

Anyway, sorry Scribbles, that's a fascinating account of you experience and I think you should consider writing a book because I really enjoyed reading that. You took me right there with your descriptions.
 

escargot

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#8
Yes please with bells on. I love hospital stories, me.
OK then.
Not spooky, just sad and unnecessary.

At Report in the office we were told about Mr B who was 60; a keen cyclist and golfer who had diabetes.

This was at about 7am. At 10am or so the doctor would be going to see see Mr B to inform that on the following day he'd be having both feet amputated. Obviously we had to be careful not to mention this to Mr B* as he needed to hear it from the doctor.

So a little later I met Mr B, sitting with his legs covered with a blanket. He told me that he'd been diagnosed with diabetes at 40, when his doctor advised him to stop smoking. He'd taken no notice and continued puffing away for the next nearly 20 years.

One day, on holiday, he'd been standing in a hotel lobby when some teenage boys went tearing past and trampled both his feet. This caused bruising which spread all across his feet and wouldn't go away. Gangrene, y'see. Eventually he'd gone to the doctor and been quickly admitted to hospital.

He was a nice man, looked a bit like Eric Morecambe. Affable and friendly. I liked him and felt sorry for him.
Anyway...
He pulled off the blanket and showed me his feet. Even though I knew the situation, I was shocked. His feet were black, like he'd stepped into a bowl of ink that reached above his ankles. There was a clear line where the gangrene ended.

He asked me what I thought and I said 'Well, the doctor will be along shortly so it'll all be sorted soon!'
No doubt he knew the score really - he certainly regretted not giving up the fags. I wasn't telling him though.

So if you're diabetic and smoke, think of those black feet. Brrr. One of the vilest things I've ever seen.



*Harder than it sounds! As illustrated by the Goolie incident...
 

Swifty

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#9
OK then.
Not spooky, just sad and unnecessary.

At Report in the office we were told about Mr B who was 60; a keen cyclist and golfer who had diabetes.

This was at about 7am. At 10am or so the doctor would be going to see see Mr B to inform that on the following day he'd be having both feet amputated. Obviously we had to be careful not to mention this to Mr B* as he needed to hear it from the doctor.

So a little later I met Mr B, sitting with his legs covered with a blanket. He told me that he'd been diagnosed with diabetes at 40, when his doctor advised him to stop smoking. He'd taken no notice and continued puffing away for the next nearly 20 years.

One day, on holiday, he'd been standing in a hotel lobby when some teenage boys went tearing past and trampled both his feet. This caused bruising which spread all across his feet and wouldn't go away. Gangrene, y'see. Eventually he'd gone to the doctor and been quickly admitted to hospital.

He was a nice man, looked a bit like Eric Morecambe. Affable and friendly. I liked him and felt sorry for him.
Anyway...
He pulled off the blanket and showed me his feet. Even though I knew the situation, I was shocked. His feet were black, like he'd stepped into a bowl of ink that reached above his ankles. There was a clear line where the gangrene ended.

He asked me what I thought and I said 'Well, the doctor will be along shortly so it'll all be sorted soon!'
No doubt he knew the score really - he certainly regretted not giving up the fags. I wasn't telling him though.

So if you're diabetic and smoke, think of those black feet. Brrr. One of the vilest things I've ever seen.



*Harder than it sounds! As illustrated by the Goolie incident...
I remember my Mum asking me "So how's it going at work?" back when I was working on the NHS wards .. no one else needs to know so you don't tell them the truth when it's nasty, that and you're not allowed to anyway .. they come they go, sometimes you get a hug off of a co worker, sometimes there's enough food left in the vending machine on your break time after the relys have raided it.

edit: me and of a couple of RGN's did have had sex though ! :badge: .. on separate occasions but you can't have everything .. and I scored a free holiday hand down because a desk clerk couldn't attend so I got two weeks with Sister Oddy signing me off :)
 
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Mythopoeika

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#10
OK then.
Not spooky, just sad and unnecessary.

At Report in the office we were told about Mr B who was 60; a keen cyclist and golfer who had diabetes.

This was at about 7am. At 10am or so the doctor would be going to see see Mr B to inform that on the following day he'd be having both feet amputated. Obviously we had to be careful not to mention this to Mr B* as he needed to hear it from the doctor.

So a little later I met Mr B, sitting with his legs covered with a blanket. He told me that he'd been diagnosed with diabetes at 40, when his doctor advised him to stop smoking. He'd taken no notice and continued puffing away for the next nearly 20 years.

One day, on holiday, he'd been standing in a hotel lobby when some teenage boys went tearing past and trampled both his feet. This caused bruising which spread all across his feet and wouldn't go away. Gangrene, y'see. Eventually he'd gone to the doctor and been quickly admitted to hospital.

He was a nice man, looked a bit like Eric Morecambe. Affable and friendly. I liked him and felt sorry for him.
Anyway...
He pulled off the blanket and showed me his feet. Even though I knew the situation, I was shocked. His feet were black, like he'd stepped into a bowl of ink that reached above his ankles. There was a clear line where the gangrene ended.

He asked me what I thought and I said 'Well, the doctor will be along shortly so it'll all be sorted soon!'
No doubt he knew the score really - he certainly regretted not giving up the fags. I wasn't telling him though.

So if you're diabetic and smoke, think of those black feet. Brrr. One of the vilest things I've ever seen.



*Harder than it sounds! As illustrated by the Goolie incident...
Yep, glad I never took up smoking. That could be me, otherwise.
 

Ghost In The Machine

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#11
Scribbles, the Women's Hospital in Bham used to be creepy, too. I know there are all sorts of online forum threads about hospitals and paranormal experiences recounted by health workers - and I always find them amongst the most fascinating of all accounts of this kind of thing. I'm just wondering whether you could use your Google-fu to find out if anyone else has had a similar experience, in that hospital? Because that would be really fascinating.

Not sure what Bham workhouse records are like, but maybe there's summat in the Reference Library, to say whether any religious orders worked there?

I was doing some research at the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds (right next to St James's), and was lucky enough to be given my own private guided tour behind the scenes - this too was the original late 19thC workhouse, like many hospitals and lots of the offices and bits the public don't see haven't been altered or re-modelled as much as the public face of the museum - so you got a powerful sense of the old workhouse. I think they now do ghost tours, occasionally. These places are spots where literally thousands of people have died. Pre NHS, many people ended up in the workhouse hospital, because there was nowhere else for seriously ill people to go - a young, working family might not be able to take care of a dying elderly person, for example, with the best will in the world, as they'd lose their income and home if they gave up work to look after the ill person. So even people who would never dream of entering the workhouse, were forced to die there, in their droves. Workhouses employed attendants, but it's entirely possible religious orders were drafted in as well.

Also, even 19thC nurses' uniforms could be bizarre in the extreme. So it's possible what you saw was just a nurse, not a nun-nurse!
 

Dotty

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#12
I think I might have posted this before, so apologies if I’m repeating myself.

I was a nurse for 20 odd years, when I worked nights on a local hospital male surgical ward we took everything. There was nowhere else to admit really poorly patients unless they were able to be treated at the nearest city hosp unit. One Saturday night the surgical reg phoned and told me he was in Cas and was sending up a patient who had been shot in the eye. I was not best pleased, I had 25 other patients and a 12 bedded gu unit to watch, it was a male ward. I tried to argue the point with him ie can you not send him to ophthalmic ward or to the city neuro unit. But no! He was insistent he came to us. We got all prepared for a right shit, busy night, neuro obs every 15 mins etc. Anyway when the patient arrived he was on a trolley, sat up chatting away ... both eyes looked fine to me! He’d a big bandage on his leg though, he’d been shot in the thigh.
 

nicnac168

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#13
Scribbles, back in the 80's my school friend went to train as a nurse at one of the London hospitals ( may be something to do with freemasons?) and she had the most extraordinary headgear as well as a rather severe uniform. Headgear not as big and swooping as the one you have posted but it did look like an over blown meringue and was apparently a bugger to look after.

May be you saw student nurse from one of the more old fashioned hospitals?
 

cycleboy2

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#14
Over the last twenty years I've been struck by various random health issues and recently ended up back in hospital with what turned out to be a kidney infection and sepsis. I landed up on a ward in City Hospital, Birmingham (previously called Dudley Road Hospital) a massive Victorian place, which was to be demolished when the new hospital opened, but as all work on the new hospital has stopped due to the bankruptcy of Carillion who knows when that will happen.

At some point in an attempt at "infection control" they put me in a large side room on my own, which whilst I appreciated the peace, was a bit creepy. It was dead quiet in there. I could hear nothing of the happenings of the busy ward and felt isolated. It was also quite cold and when the temperature dropped with the bout of snow, I had to ask a nurse for extra blankets.

It was this nurse that helped spark an old memory of mine. As she tucked me up in cozy blankets, she said that because of the age of the building it was almost impossible to regulate the temperatures properly, and throughout the whole hospital it was either too hot or freezing cold. She mentioned that it had first been built as an infirmary attached to the workhouse, which I hadn't known. After she had gone, I picked up my phone and started Googling the history of the hospital and found out that the site had indeed also included Birmingham's workhouse. Only last year the building where families were admitted into the workhouse, which I had been very familiar with on my many trips to that hospital over the decades, was demolished. It had been called the Archway of Tears.

It got me thinking about the hospital in a new way. I have never liked the place, and had always put it down to the fact that I was in there being ill and so it held bad memories, but actually it is more than that. Modern medicine has been inserted into and disfigured a lot of the Victorian nature of the building, but something from the past constantly insists you remember it. And not in a pleasant way. Not in a way you might sense walking around an old country house or an ancient woodland. But in a way that tells you it was a place where misery dwelt.

And then I remembered "the oddly dressed Nurse". I figure it was thirteen or more years ago when I was in after an operation for a medical condition that changed the whole course of my life. I was in a small side ward off a main ward with five other patients. It was the custom then, though it doesn't seem to be now, that when there was a shift change the old nurses would come around and stand at the end of patients bed telling the new nurses about each patient. I found it quite rude actually, as you were talked about and not interacted with, as they stood there at the foot of your bed.

Anyway, invariably when the night shift took over this exchange happened when I was sleeping, and it usually woke me up. On this particular occasion I remember feeling really dozy and having to try hard to prize an eye open to take a peak at the nurses talking about me at the end of my bed. What I saw baffled me. My memory of the whole thing is vague and hazy, I have to admit, but the one thing that I cannot ever forget was the hat of the nurse who was talking. It was the most ridiculous headgear I had ever seen, with the starched white cotton sprouting up and over the nurses head like seagull wings. I remember feeling that I was owed an explanation as to why she was dressed so ridiculously, but of course I was being talked about not talked to. I don't recall what was being said about me, and I don't remember anything of the people around her. I do have an idea that the rest of her was just as formally dressed, and that I wanted her to go away.

Remembering this bizarre uniform, whilst still in hospital this year I looked it up and searched through pictures of nurses' uniforms for ages, before finally finding the image below. It turned out my Nurse was wearing a Cornette, described in wikipedia as thus:

"A cornette is a piece of female headwear. It is essentially a type of wimple consisting of a large, starched piece of white cloth that is folded upwards in such a way as to create the resemblance of horns (French: cornes) on the wearer's head. It was reported in The Times to have been "in fashion among the Ladies of Paris" in 1801,[1] made of muslin or gauze and richly ornamented with lace.

Use by the Daughters of Charity[edit]
The cornette was retained as a distinctive piece of clothing into modern times by the Daughters of Charity, a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life founded by St. Vincent de Paul in the mid-17th century.[2] The founder wanted to have the sisters of this new type of religious congregation of women, that tended to the sick and poor, and were not required to remain in their cloister, resemble ordinary middle-class women as much as possible in their clothing, including the wearing of the cornette.

After the cornette generally fell into disuse, it became a distinctive feature of the Daughters of Charity, making theirs one of the most widely recognised religious habits. Because of the cornette, they were known in Ireland as the "butterfly nuns". They abandoned the cornette on 20 September 1964. The modern nurses' cap or bonnet was created following the cornette's appearance and it depicts the humanitarianism of Daughters of Charity in nursing."



A painting of cornette-wearing Sisters of Charity by Armand Gautier (1825–1894)


You can see why I was surprised! That hat is really quite something. I did a lot more googling and couldn't find any reason that a Nurse's wimple that had long since been discontinued would turn up in modern Birmingham. I did ask one of the nurses about it too, and she just shrugged and said she'd never heard of it.

I don't know, maybe there is a small Daughter's of Charity group in Birmingham who still like to dress up to alarm the patients, but I would really like to think that I actually saw a ghost!
Great story, my thought is that it might be some sort of hypnagogic hallucination, especially as you mention that you had been sleeping during the changeover.

During my first experience as in in-patient I was hallucinating - can't remember what - but then again I was running a temperature of 41.3C/106.3F. I do remember being amused that my temperature was literally off the top of the charts, which would have been a bit more worrying if I'd been totally coherent. I had an infection, fever, they removed my appendix, lymph nodes and some of my liver for biopsies. The reckoning was a non-specific viral infection, possibly water-borne. Wasn't much fun but gawd bless the NHS!
 

blessmycottonsocks

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#15
Just wondering if any of the nursing staff were military (QARANC)?

My eldest child was born in the Aldershot military hospital and the grey uniforms and anachronistic looking headgear of the nurses and matrons did strike me as quite odd at the time.

A few years later I was in our local civilian hospital and a small contingent of military nurses had been drafted in to help out. The contrast between the fairly casual NHS uniforms and the retro look of the army nurses was very noticeable.
 
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Scribbles

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#16
Scribbles, the Women's Hospital in Bham used to be creepy, too. I know there are all sorts of online forum threads about hospitals and paranormal experiences recounted by health workers - and I always find them amongst the most fascinating of all accounts of this kind of thing. I'm just wondering whether you could use your Google-fu to find out if anyone else has had a similar experience, in that hospital? Because that would be really fascinating.
I think I will have to follow up this at some point, it's too bizarre to be left alone! I think I found the religious Order on Twitter and I did have half a mind to tweet them about it too, see if they did have nurses there who wore "that hat"!

Interested notes about the Leeds hospital *shivers*
 

Scribbles

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#17
Scribbles, back in the 80's my school friend went to train as a nurse at one of the London hospitals ( may be something to do with freemasons?) and she had the most extraordinary headgear as well as a rather severe uniform. Headgear not as big and swooping as the one you have posted but it did look like an over blown meringue and was apparently a bugger to look after.

May be you saw student nurse from one of the more old fashioned hospitals?
She can't have been a student nurse because she was defo the one in charge, but totally possible she was drafted in from somewhwere else, a private religious hospital if such a thing exists? Maybe she was an agency nurse.
 

Scribbles

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#18
Just wondering if any of the nursing staff were military (QARANC)?

My eldest child was born in the Aldershot military hospital and the grey uniforms and anachronistic looking headgear of the nurses and matrons did strike me as quite odd at the time.

A few years later I was in our local civilian hospital and a small contingent of military nurses had been drafted in to help out. The contrast between the fairly casual NHS uniforms and the retro look of the army nurses was very noticeable.
At that time, the military hospital in Birmingham was Selly Oak (I think it's knocked down now) and I remember seeing the military nurses, I think without realising at the time that that's what they were. This lady was something else altogether. I am wondering if she was an agency nurse trained by a religious order or something though. Although those hats are not supposed to have been in use for decades. It's a real puzzle.
 

Scribbles

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#19
Thanks everyone for your replies. Guess what? I've been back in City Hospital since writing this post. A bad headache that wouldn't shift even with diazepam, that saw my left eye blur and my left arm go weak. God bless the NHS, 24 hours in a&e, one brain scan, one lumbar puncture, one blood screening test, and I am told that more than likely it was a particularly bad tension headache (I do suffer from them) brought on by stress and exhaustion (life has been hard lately, and on Friday we buried my beloved father-in-law. I think my body had just reached its limits).

This time I was moved to AMU (I think it's called) and put into yet another side room. This one reeeaaally creeped me out and put me in mind of alien abduction cases, but that's a story for another time - I'm still not well, and suffering from a post-lumbar puncture headache. Oh the irony!
 

Swifty

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#21
Thanks everyone for your replies. Guess what? I've been back in City Hospital since writing this post. A bad headache that wouldn't shift even with diazepam, that saw my left eye blur and my left arm go weak. God bless the NHS, 24 hours in a&e, one brain scan, one lumbar puncture, one blood screening test, and I am told that more than likely it was a particularly bad tension headache (I do suffer from them) brought on by stress and exhaustion (life has been hard lately, and on Friday we buried my beloved father-in-law. I think my body had just reached its limits).

This time I was moved to AMU (I think it's called) and put into yet another side room. This one reeeaaally creeped me out and put me in mind of alien abduction cases, but that's a story for another time - I'm still not well, and suffering from a post-lumbar puncture headache. Oh the irony!
Ditto .. keep smiling and get well soon Scribbles X
 

maximus otter

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#22
When l was visiting my aged dad in hospital a few years ago, l’d have loved to have seen a ghost nurse. Or any sort of nurse. There were rumours of sightings of podgy creatures in polo shirts and Crocs off in the distance, zooming past the wards with clipboards, but nothing concrete.

The wards were run by brusque, ill-tempered Filipino orderlies. l well remember them offering refreshments to elderly country folk: “You wan’ taycoffay?

Such larks.

maximus otter
 
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Ghost In The Machine

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#23
Thanks everyone for your replies. Guess what? I've been back in City Hospital since writing this post. A bad headache that wouldn't shift even with diazepam, that saw my left eye blur and my left arm go weak. God bless the NHS, 24 hours in a&e, one brain scan, one lumbar puncture, one blood screening test, and I am told that more than likely it was a particularly bad tension headache (I do suffer from them) brought on by stress and exhaustion (life has been hard lately, and on Friday we buried my beloved father-in-law. I think my body had just reached its limits).

This time I was moved to AMU (I think it's called) and put into yet another side room. This one reeeaaally creeped me out and put me in mind of alien abduction cases, but that's a story for another time - I'm still not well, and suffering from a post-lumbar puncture headache. Oh the irony!
Yes, here's to a full recovery.
 

Nick Smith

Junior Acolyte
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#26
She can't have been a student nurse because she was defo the one in charge, but totally possible she was drafted in from somewhwere else, a private religious hospital if such a thing exists? Maybe she was an agency nurse.
I'm an RGN and trained in the late 80s.

I think that what you saw was one of the more old fashioned Matrons or senior sisters who were approaching retirement when I was a student and junior staff Nurse.

Although the old hats and capes worn by the female nurses were phased out during my student years (us boys wore doctors coats with epaulettes and a shirt and tie would you believe) there were still some of the "old school" SRNs about.

In my A&E the senior sister was still wearing a pretty immense piece of old headwear with pleats and a long drape thing at the back of her head with "wings" sticking out of the sides...not as ridiculous as that nun you showed us, but still anachronistic and distinctive. She wore a long black dress, with silver buckle, cape and crossed chest straps...and this was well into the early 90s

She was a fantastic woman, took no prisoners but totally dedicated to her "girls and boys". There were others like her around...you never see that anymore.

I guess you saw one of these old school ladies whilst not at your best, and it's stuck with you.
 

Nick Smith

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#27
...just as a further thought..as these old fashioned nurses were on the cusp of Nursing becoming "modernised" degree based rather than hands on some of these "old guard" disciplinarians were being pushed out of the hierarchy and often found themselves pushed into nights and antisocial hours to "get them out of the way"

I wonder if many of the tales of nurses in old fashioned uniforms prowling hospitals at night being taken as ghosts were actually some of these traditionalists who refused to comply with strict new rules related to infection control and the wearing of uniform items like hats, capes, nursing medals,long coats and other oddities. If I woke in a gloomy ward at 3am to see one of them creeping past I'd probably think the same.

As a young staff nurse they used to scare the shit out of me! And it wasn't anything supernatural.

That said. The strict discipline and rigourous professionalism of these folk is sorely missed in today's NHS
 

Scribbles

Ephemeral Spectre
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#28
Junior, you could very well have got it. I dont recall her being particularly old, but stern would fit!

Just needed to thank you all for your well wishes. I came back to this thread after just learning on Twitter that is place is to close, and it was nice to be greeted by so many of you wishing me better. I am better now, but sadly in September I lost my dad. Having already lost my father-in-law earlier this year, my family is heavy in grief. We have lost two genuine good men.

And now I might lose all of you. If we don't get to meet in a new place, then I just wanted to say my sincerest goodbyes to all the old regulars. I've been coming here on and off for years, and many a time becoming absorbed in the stories here has freed me from my worries.

And thank you to the Moderators who have always been a big part of this gang, kept the sight so orderly and professional, and never intruded in an authoritive or patronising way.

The people doing this. They do not know the value of the thing they wish to destroy.
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

Increasingly unlikely
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#30
Junior, you could very well have got it. I dont recall her being particularly old, but stern would fit!

Just needed to thank you all for your well wishes. I came back to this thread after just learning on Twitter that is place is to close, and it was nice to be greeted by so many of you wishing me better. I am better now, but sadly in September I lost my dad. Having already lost my father-in-law earlier this year, my family is heavy in grief. We have lost two genuine good men.

And now I might lose all of you. If we don't get to meet in a new place, then I just wanted to say my sincerest goodbyes to all the old regulars. I've been coming here on and off for years, and many a time becoming absorbed in the stories here has freed me from my worries.

And thank you to the Moderators who have always been a big part of this gang, kept the sight so orderly and professional, and never intruded in an authoritive or patronising way.

The people doing this. They do not know the value of the thing they wish to destroy.

Scribbles please accept my condolences for your losses, and my good wishes that you start to feel better soon. Sounds like you've been through a very tough few months, so take things easy. As some comfort, you still have your friends here on the new forum. x
 
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