chapter  4
38 Pages

The reality of fever nursing, 1921-71

As has been seen, one of the differences in fever nursing was the duration and type of training. After the three Nurses Registration Acts, for England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland, in 1919, all hospital matrons in approved fever nurse training schools were required by their newly constituted GNCs to conform to a two-year standard course. The Scottish matrons did not approve and kept the third year that they favoured unofficially; nurses could then earn and receive their hospital certificate. A fever nurse course in approved hospitals could lead to a one-year reduction in general nurse training. Conversely, general nurses were entitled to a one-year reduction in fever nurse training. Even when an approved course was undertaken, its length could be extended, because sick leave had to be made up, no allowance being made for this. These facts help to explain the different periods shown after the hospital's name. Some of the eight probationers in the study, who worked in small, mostly rural hospitals, not approved for training, had clinical teaching, but there was little pretence at training. Nevertheless, they were usually awarded hospital certificates citing length of time served and their conduct; although treasured personally, they were of little value professionally.