Extract from a Probationer's Diary
Orange Training School for Nurses
This is the nurses' home of the Elizabeth [NJ] General Hospital,
where nursing "pupils" or students lived.
From: New Jersey Nurse 50th Anniversary, October 1952.
"Home life " is too often a misnomer when applied to an institution of any kind. We, however, cannot but feel that a notable exception is found in The Orange Training School for Nurses and that a genuine home flavor pervades every part of it. Whether this be prejudice on our part or not, there are various reasons why it should be so.
Officered by good, wise, and capable women who take an active interest in the nurse and all pertaining to her; a clean, comfortable house with pleasant rooms; an attractive and generous table; and a painstaking matron presiding over all with unselfish zeal. Nor would we omit the good, kind physician who ministers to our ailments. No matter how busy he may be, a call to a sick nurse is always promptly and cheerfully answered. If the gratitude of a nurse counts for anything, the good doctor's practice at the Training School is not altogether unremunerative.
Let us take a peep into the Training School after hospital duties are over for the day. At 7:15pm the bell rings for prayers, which are held in the parlor; then, if there is lecture or class, the nurses again meet in the same room at 8pm. After lecture, which lasts one hour, the nurses are free until 10pm, when lights must be out. The rising-bell rings at 6am; and the first breakfast is served at 6:30 to the day nurses., who go on duty at the Hospital at 7am. Second breakfast at 7:30 to the night nurses, who leave the Hospital at 7. Night nurses must retire to their rooms at 9:30am, and are called at 4:30pm. The dinner hours are at 12 and 1. Supper at 5 and 6:30.
Every nurse has two hours of duty daily, four hours on Sunday, and twice during the month she has half a day off. The dullness said to be the result of "all work and no play " applies just as much to the nurse as to the "Jack" we are all so familiar with, and an impromptu play hour is a not infrequent occurrence. A "Bradley Martin Ball," with half an hour's preparation one Saturday night caused, I am sure, more real merriment and cost somewhat less than the society event from which it took its name. One of our late parties was on the occasion of the matron's birthday, when the nurses represented characters from Mother Goose; and as such, with original and appropriate rhymes, greeted that much surprised lady on her return from New York, where she had been inveigled in the afternoon. The costumes on this occasion were a surprise to all proving what can be done under difficulties when willing hearts and hands are in perfect accord; and the original Mother Goose herself would have been very proud of her children, could she have been there on this memorable occasion.
I believe I am right in saying that very few leave the Orange Training School without a feeling of regret. It is, as I have said, a real home to us as far as any institution can be; and any nurse guilty of disloyalty to such a home deserves almost all that Scott has said of the man lacking in love of native land. Such, at least, is the opinion of one who spent two happy years under the sheltering care of The Orange Training School for Nurses.
Attributed to: "A. R."
(1899). Some account of the Orange Training School for Nurses, Orange, NJ: Orange Memorial Hospital.
This "diary " must be read with the understanding that the hospital published this booklet as public relations.