Need for nurses - the 1918 influenza pandemic

A woman describes the importance of the work of nurses and of the Red Cross in training them.


[Woman speaking] Well, the Red Cross give girls or women training in home nursing at the beginning of every year, and if girls would only take that training, from my experience of the epidemic, it was one of the best things that they could do. It was a very good training for three months, and if anybody came into the hospital when we were desperate, you could even take a temperature or make a bed or [take] a pulse or had any idea of nursing, we would fall almost on our necks with gratitude because we didn't have to show them around, you see. We just said get to it, and we look after them, you see.

So ever since then I worked a good deal in the Red Cross, you see, in Hastings and Havelock, and my great idea is to get every girl trained that I could in this course of home nursing. We'll have epidemics again, and we'll have emergencies again, probably, of the Civil Defence now is working as you know probably, don't you? Well, what they wanted is people who can nurse. Don't you agree?

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