Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nursing memories

Telegram Staff Writer

LaVerne McDaniel of Thrall enrolled in the Scott & White School of Nursing in 1949. She was 18.
'The schedule was tough,' she said.
Breakfast was at 6 a.m. sharp.
'And from 7 to 10 you had 'a.m. cares,' Ms. McDaniel said. 'It was a morning round of caring for patients. You washed their face, brushed their teeth and served them breakfast.'
Then it was time for classes.
'Lunch came around but it was only for half an hour,' Ms. McDaniel said. 'Then you were back in class until 5 or 6, when it was time for 'p.m. cares.' That was when you got the patients ready for bed.' During the week, she had to be in her dorm every night by 8 p.m., and lights were out at 10 p.m.
Friday night had a more lenient curfew of 11 p.m., and on Saturday the nurses could be out until midnight.
'But on Sunday you had to be back at 8 p.m. unless you were at an evening church service,' Ms. McDaniel said. 'And if you said you were at church, that's where you'd better be because you'd get in trouble if you weren't.
And those were the rules.
'So you see, the people who went to school with you, they were your life,' Ms. McDaniel said. 'You lived with them and worked with them.'
And after graduation, they were in each other's weddings.
'We became family,' Ms. McDaniel said. 'That's why I like these homecomings so much.'
Ms. McDaniel graduated in 1952 and started a life-long nursing career at Scott & White Hospital in Temple. She served as the director of operating rooms and clinical instruction until retiring.

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