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8 Doctors and Nurse Interns Very few accounts about doctors and nurses serving as interns were provided. Most of the following stories are informative, telling about such things as the importance of mothers, slow-learning medical and servant processes, the crucial role of horses for transportation purposes, and erroneously performing services on a dead body prior to the doctor’s arrival to pronounce the person dead. Mother’s Importance I was on the elevator with several medical students and asked one of them who was the most important person in their time as a medical student and who could make them or break them. One of the medical students took an interest in my question, and I quickly told him that a nurse should be the most important person. He informed me that his mother was a nurse, at which point I informed him that I had no doubt he had been brought up right. Jo Ann M. Wever, Springfield, March 14, 2012 Nurses Don’t Wait on Doctors In July new medical interns and residents start rotations at the medical center. I was talking to another nurse when a new intern came up to us and asked for several items. The other nurse and I looked him up and down, then she said to me, “He has no broken arms.” I said, “He has no broken legs,” and then we told him where he could get the items he needed. He turned red in the face and headed in the direction that we had told him to go. The lesson we hoped he learned was that we do not wait on doctors. Jo Ann M. Wever, Springfield, March 14, 2012 194 Tales from Kentucky Nurses Fearful Surgery Resident Late one night a surgery resident who had come to see one of my patients asked me to walk him to the elevator. I told one of the other nurses that I would be back shortly. The elevator was near the waiting room, where many family members of patients slept. The resident was small in height and slim. I never knew why he wanted me to walk him to the elevator. I am five feet and nine inches tall and have never been accused of being slim or small in stature. I could only guess that he wanted me to protect him from something or somebody. Jo Ann M. Wever, Springfield, March 14, 2012 Initial Service as a Courier I was terribly shy when I first came here [Frontier Nursing Service area]. I listened more than I talked. But there was continuous talk about how you could cope with the problems of that center on the way home. Oh, yes! And Mrs. Breckinridge would tell you about these people. She would tell about their contribution to help build the center. She also talked about some of the problems. So you began to become closely aligned with them as you talked to them, and Mrs. Breckinridge very definitely did it. That all happened during the first two weeks I was here. They had more nurses than couriers in those days, so she asked me if I would like to come to Wendover to work as a courier for a couple of weeks. Naturally, that was a very good way to break me in, and I hadn’t ridden horses for a while. I rode them back in Texas, sitting in a western saddle. Well, I started getting used to riding them in the mountains, something I had never done before. . . . I was at Wendover for three weeks doing courier work. It was very important to take good care of your horse, because that was your sole means of transportation. Told by Gertrude Isaacs to Dale Deaton, November 15, 1978; provided by the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington Doctors and Nurse Interns 195 After a Patient Dies Something that was funny about my nursing school experience happened when we were seniors and were appointed to be in charge of a unit. Of course, the registered nurse in the area was always watching and helping us out. My teammate and I had a patient one night who died. We knew what to do when a patient died, such as what procedures were to be done to care [for] the body of the deceased. We went in and straightened the bed out and straightened the patient out, turned his oxygen off, put his false teeth in, and got...


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