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During general training, 1947

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During general training, 1947 1949 - During general training As midwifery sister, 1952
As midwifery sister, around 1957 In Queen`s Nurse`s uniform, 1963 Joan Jones, 2007
54. 01 1954 District Nursing Techniques (revised 1957) pages 32-3 54. 02 1954 District Nursing Techniques (revised 1957) pages 34-5 54. 03 1954 District Nursing Techniques (revised 1957) pages 36-7
 
 
Interview 54 Joan Jones

District Sister
Born in Moreton, Wirral, Cheshire in 1922.


Overview: Joan Jones trained as a nurse during the Second World War. She first encountered diabetes during fever training at an isolation hospital in 1940 and then among war casualties in London. When she was midwifery sister in Dulwich in the early 1950s, mothers with diabetes had been warned to avoid pregnancy and expected their babies to be stillborn; but at Birmingham Maternity Hospital from 1955 - where a diabetic clinic was run jointly by John Malins and obstetrician Samuel Davidson - most babies lived. As a district sister in Coleshill from 1963-82, she helped many elderly patients with diabetes.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 22 February 2007

 Short samples

1 At Clatterbridge Isolation Hospital in Cheshire from 1940-42, she went out in the hospital’s own ambulances – kept separate from those of other hospitals – to collect patients suffering from epidemics of such diseases as scarlet fever and diphtheria. [ 60 secs ]

2 From around 1974, she was based at a GP’s surgery in Coleshill and known as a ‘practice sister’. Once a year, Professor John Malins and his team from Birmingham General Hospital would visit the surgery to see all the patients with diabetes. [ 60 secs ]

 
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01 Private school. Left at 16. War - chose nursing. Mother persuaded father who thought nursing unsuitable. Fever training, then London for general training & midwifery.
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02 Mother`s friend`s son died of diabetes at 17. Started fever training 1942 (actually 1940), Clatterbridge Isolation Hospital, 2¼ years. Epidemics. Barrier nursing. Diabetics beginning self-management. Some admitted with other illnesses, complicated by diabetes.
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03 Epidemics - GPs notified hospital or police station. Ambulances collected patients & names from police station. Mainly children. Poor were de-loused. If diabetic, GP sent message re insulin & diet – line diet.
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04 High temperatures – more insulin. Only seniors allowed to give insulin. Taught hypo signs. Blood tests. Urine tested 4 times daily.
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05 1943-5 or 46, general training in London, 2½ years. War casualties with diabetes. Insulin getting better controlled – if patient behaved…
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06 … some didn`t keep to diet - kept returning. Patients still thought diabetics die. By time I trained, diabetics leading normal life. Most danger – pregnancy – later seen at Birmingham Maternity Hospital diabetic clinic.
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07 General training, St. Mary, Islington – had to cover every procedure plus exams. Didn`t inject insulin until 2nd or 3rd year. Stayed at St Mary`s for 6 months Part 1 midwifery.
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08 6 months Part 2 midwifery at The Limes, Stoke-on-Trent, 1946. City General, then Crosshouses, near Shrewsbury, 1946-9. Dulwich 1949-55. Birmingham Maternity Hospital, Loveday St, 1955-63. Previously diabetics had stillborn babies. At Loveday St, 2 consultants specialised in diabetes – Caesarian – 8 out of 10 live babies.
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09 Never before saw diabetic`s live baby. Malins from Birmingham General & obstetrician Samuel Davidson ran joint diabetic clinic. Previously mothers warned against pregnancy, & at Dulwich knew babies would die. Now could give hope.
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10 Applied to be district nurse. Warwickshire required Queen`s Nurse training. Trained for 3 months – learnt injections from 1954 handbook – some diabetics did it themselves, some waited for district nurse.
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11 Heavy caseload. Inspection round. Exam. Back to backs.
After training, on call & on rota for night injections. Not much at home. Married 1955. Husband died 1957.
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12 District sister, 1963-82. Knew patients well. Circa 1974, attached to surgery as ‘practice sister`. Before that, worked from home.
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13 Loan visits - checked loaned items still used. Elderly observation visits. Free to visit anyone if told about them. 5 years before I retired, bath nurse appointed. Diabetic ulcers. Gangrene.
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14 Our diabetics lucky because of annual visit from hospital team. We`d report on previous year. Wrote up cases & daily diary. Diabetics seen mainly elderly…
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15 …could no longer inject themselves. If one nurse off, stood in for each other.
Had no specialist Type 2 diabetes training. Occasional course.
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16 Annual visit of Professor Malins` team – Many diabetics came to surgery, then Malins visited housebound. No dietitian or podiatrist came. Dietitian at hospital advised my diabetic mother; nobody checked her feet. Mother eventually did own injections. I diagnosed her – late 1960s. She died 1973.
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17 Changes 1940-82. Number of insulins - was hard to get patient out of coma. Diet more flexible. Less gangrene…
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18 …fewer amputations. ‘Almost a normal life`.
Knew patients & families well over years. Kept eye on diabetics. Maybe less care now.
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