Two Old Codgers

How the World strikes us

There has been a lot of talk about nurses and their pay lately, so I felt I should share some of my experiences of what nurses have meant and do mean to me. 

I was born in the 1950’s in St Lukes Hospital, Bradford.

St Lukes Hospital

I was born with a condition called Spina-bifida and operated on when I was less than a day old. Although there was no cure, the operation probably saved my life and lessened the long term effects of the condition. Had I been born a just a few years earlier before the inception of the NHS I probably wouldn’t be here now.

During my childhood I underwent many operations on my hips and legs. This meant that I was separated from my family for extended periods. I was confined to a hospital bed for months and on one occasion for over a year. 
Being in hospital I missed birthdays and Christmas several times. 

During all this trauma, and trauma it was for a little boy, my one constant comfort were nurses. 

Nurses that held me as a baby. Nurses that wiped away my tears. Nurses that sat with me during visiting hours when my parents didn’t come. Nurses comforted me when I had nightmares, and who held my little hand when I was in pain, yes a nurse.

Sometimes a nurse would read a bedtime story and say night night. 

All this over and above their duties of giving injections, changing dressings, attending to drips, keeping charts up to date. Then there was all the menial tasks they had to do like bed making, wiping bottoms, emptying and cleaning bedpans and bottles in the sluice. 

So how much are nurses worth? To me they are priceless. How much should they be paid? Never ever enough.

Bill Riley

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