Sunday, September 29

Nurse Deirdre

The story is set on a hospital train in a war. So the kids were fascinated to hear nurse Deirdre's stories of caring for the wounded in a war situation. She is from Northern Ireland, a Catholic, and told them how she once had to nurse a well known Unionist terrorist who would have been quite happy to see Catholics like her blown up - and had tried to do it.

You can see from the picture how absorbed the kids were.

It challenged them to consider the fact that Deirdre, trained to heal, was willing to nurse someone who was very much "the enemy" to her own side.  Children do understand in a practical sense that you sometimes have a conflict of loyalties, and it is good for them to get the chance to discuss such things.

They were, of course, very interested in the idea of nursing.  They could have sat there all day asking her their medical questions.  "Have you ever nursed one of those babies that's really two babies joined together?"  "Have you ever chopped anyone's arm off by yourself?" etc.  Some, like Frankie, whose mum is a nurse, were very proud to realise what good work nurses do.

Deirdre works at UCL Medical School, taking medical students into "hands on" situations like emergency rooms and ICUs.   She liked being with the kids, and said it was as much fun for her as it obviously was for them.

When it came to writing, they were absolutely inspired.

And they did some wonderful writing!

...which delighted Vanessa and me.


  1. That's what I call an all-round education! :-)

    Greetings from London.

  2. Catching up. Having had a career in health care I can just imagine some of the questions and some of the answers. I'll bet it was fun all around