My Nursing Badge
By Matti Macdonald
This audio forms part of a series of audio interviews conducted in 2023 by Smartify as part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project. Listen and discover the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands through the eyes of the stitchers of the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands.
Join Matti as she shares the story behind her journey stone and recounts her training days at the Eden Court Nurses Training School in conversation with the Clava Clan Stitchers and Smartify.
I spent three months there learning how to lift a dummy up the bed and not hurt it. How to wash its hair in bed, its feet...how to set out frays with all sterile stuff...So, this badge was created for the three hospitals.
The subject I chose for my journey stone was my nursing badge. It represented three of the main hospitals in Inverness – Raigmore, The Royal Northern and Culduthel Hospital. Each hospital had its own specialist units and we, as nurses, rotated around them. Culduthel Hospital no longer exists but it mainly dealt with patients who had contracted Tuberculosis. This was fairly common in my early nursing career as it was due to using milk from infected cows. The School mof nursing was in Eden Court, former home of Bishop Eden next to Inverness Cathedral. It is now part of Eden Court theatre. Students came from all parts of the Highlands and Islands ta attend the school. We were taught how to handle patients, set up trolleys for various procedures and how to sterilise and prepare surgical equipment. No pre-packed sterile equipment in those days! Lectures on surgical and medical issues plus anatomy were part of the training.
The badge is no longer awarded as students undertake a degree course through the University of the Highlands and Islands. I wore my badge with pride as it represented three years and three months of intense training and learning.