Can you help keep Patriotrealm on line?
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a Nurse. I had read a book about a woman who went to Nepal and she was a Mountain Nurse travelling on horse back, yak back or donkey back and she delivered hope, health and help to those poor people in need of her care.
I decided that I wanted to be a Nurse and, like my heroine, Florence Nightingale, heal people and make them better. I felt that all people who were unwell deserved someone to care for them and make them feel better. 
As a small child, it seemed very reasonable to assume that if someone got sick, a Nurse could make them better and everyone would have a nice day. My late Dad found my opinion very amusing and dubbed me " Nurse Nice Day. "
I had a Nurse kit that my parents bought - a hat, an apron, a pretend stethoscope and a few paddle pop sticks that I could place against Teddy's mouth or Dolly's mouth and declare that they indeed had a temperature and had to go to bed and, thank goodness, Nurse Nice Day could and would make them better.

cartoon nurse image 14

At seventeen I embarked on a career in nursing. My belief that all could be healed with love and a nice day was naïve  but honourable.
I excelled at biology and was a super whiz kid at all my classes. On the ward? Not so much.
I saw people ill. Not sick. ill. Really ill. They often had this thing called Cancer and it couldn't be healed with kind words, a gentle word or a hand softly held. They were doing something that I had never encountered first hand before: they were doing this strange thing called " dying. "
I had never seen " dying " before.  I had never seen " cancer " before. "  These things were foreign to my life and vision of healing. I had misread the idea of being a nurse. To me, in my naïve world, being a Nurse was all about healing. Not looking after people dying.  Dying was not what I signed up for.


I looked after an older lady who was a terminal cancer patient and she was blind, in the last stages of her life and I was tasked with bathing her. I was splashing the water on her and we were laughing, having fun. When I dried her off, I grabbed some talcum powder and squeezed it so that she felt the spray of the talc on her body. She giggled, grabbed the container and sprayed it back on me.  We emerged from the bathroom and, covered with talcum powder, only to see the Ward Sister, hands on hips and a very Nurse Ratched look on her face.

Apparently, having fun with a terminally ill patient was not part of my job description.  Which is a shame really, because sometimes it is a great therapy. 

Incidentally, that dear lady used to get a bottle of guinness stout every day to build up her health. How times have changed.
After three months, I resigned. I knew that I would never be a good Nurse. 

The matron said to me "You are doing so well. You are top of the class. Why are you leaving? "
I replied " People are dying. I can't deal with death. I wanted to be a Nurse to help people not see them die. "
She agreed that I was not cut out for Nursing and it was probably for the best. What a shame so many in our health professions have forgotten that simple message that healing and care is at the core of the profession. As in since Covid became the second Big C to enter our lives. 
Decades later, my daughter became a Nurse. What we , down under, call a " Bush Nurse. "  In rural western Queensland. She did her training in one of the last " in hospital " training programmes in the country. Incidentally, she used her nursing to fund her way through University and has now completed her PhD and is a lecturer in an associated discipline.
She cared for kangaroos, men gored by bulls and old diggers who thought that they could still play rugby and then realised that they were not ten foot tall and bullet proof after all.
Being in an ambulance and rocking and riding over a bull dust road and hoping like hell that she didn't let the drip fall out or that the patient was still alive at the end of the trip to have a " Nurse Nice Day " moment.
She trimmed the old men's toenails, fetched them back from the pub when they escaped the dementia ward and tap danced her way around the hospital and pretty much ensured they all had a nice day. 
I remember her telling me that it was not uncommon for one dear old patient to wander off and go to the pub nearby and order a shandy. She would be in her nightgown and sit herself down and sip with delight.  The barman would quietly ring the hospital and say " Mrs so and so is back. " 
A few of the regulars would go and sit with her and chat until my daughter would arrive and tell her that she was being missed and she was needed back" home. "  They would stroll back across the road , arm in arm , the young nurse with the elderly lady in her nightie and slippers, and a nice cup of tea was had and no harm done.  
That was the way of life back then, wasn't it? Calmly, with love and with kindness. Not with a taser. 
In fact I recollect her telling me about how so many of her older male patients died when she was giving them a bath.
" Mum I don't understand why my men die when I bathe them. What am I doing wrong? ? "
She obviously forgot that she was 18 years old, drop dead gorgeous and blonde.


She had a situation when she had one of her old dears passed away and she took him down to the morgue. It was in the bowels of the hospital. Late at night. Dark. Spooky.
My daughter had fetched his false teeth from the ward and taken them with her so that he could be ready for being " laid out. "
It was hard work getting those teeth in but they finally sat in his mouth.
Unfortunately, my daughter took the wrong teeth. They belonged to a different patient.

439605507 1140187147319737 8455180946710648122 n

Sadly, Rigor Mortis had set in and it was impossible to remove them. She rang me and said:
" Mum, I hope he doesn't have an open casket funeral. "
" Why? " I asked.
She replied " because they will be saying ' why does Granpa look so happy? ' "
Poor Grandpa. Still, at least he looked happy when he died.

Incidentally, my daughter got to Nepal and while she never rode a yak, she spent three weeks with her host family and slept in their house with a yak. She said that he was a bit smelly but very warm. 




I suppose my point is that we all want to be Nurse Nice Day. Solve the world problems. Make everything good again. We don't like death and we don't like illness. We want it all to be just back to normal and we can all have a nice day again.
My daughter made people happy. Her dancing and laughter and joy were and still are infectious. Of the good kind. Not the covid kind.  The kind of infection we all want to get.
The infection of love and having a nice day.
But it doesn't work like that anymore.
Does it?
Fun is verboten and nursing is , well, more about Nurse Ratched than Nurse Nice Day.
In fact, Nurse Nice Day may as well be riding a yak somewhere because caring is a fast disappearing emotion.
Maybe we need to laugh a bit more and well, just be ALLOWED to have a nice day.

So everyone reading this, have a nice day;  and don't forget that laughter, love and kindness are the kind of infection we need. Let's spread it around.

Mind you. if anyone has vacant premises in Canberra, let me know. We could set up a bathhouse and get a few pretty young nurses to give people like Albo a bath...... same applies for Creepy Joe in Washington. But I had better stop. The Esafety commissioner might tell me I need a bath. 

Donate to keep us online

Please donate to 

Swiftcode METWAU4B

BSB 484799



Reference PR

Please email me so I can thank you. 


Responsive Grid for Articles patriotrealm
Clear filters