Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Barbara Borwell

Community Nursing Stories

Pages: 170 Ratings: 4.5
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An evocative memoir that paints a rich historical picture of life as a district nurse in a close-nit rural community setting in the mid-1970s and 80s. The author presents a fascinating set of memoirs that capture the essence of a district nurse at this time.

Presenting the challenges of coping with a young family to live and work as an outsider within a community, winning trust, and respect, whilst adapting to the challenges of working in a rural community, before days of central heating, mobile or in some circumstances house phones. The memoirs present a series of heart-warming, encounters, portraying a picture of a committed nurse, becoming a community champion and visionary pioneer in the development of much needed community services.

The stories of engagement with all-age community members present a strong historical context of the nursing role. In some ways very different to current nursing practice, reflecting the evolution of nursing and development of nursing, medical and technological knowledge to underpin the principles of knowledgeable, empowered, and informed practice.

My nursing career began in 1956, the journey continuing until 2008 encompassing a wide range of settings, specialities and experiences. From General Nursing (SRN), Residential Children’s Nursery Nursing, Occupational Health, Adult Residential Care Home, District Nursing, Specialist Nursing, Lecturer in Nursing in the UK nationally and internationally including those countries in the former Eastern Bloc. Each stage of the journey necessitates the acquisition of additional knowledge and skills to fulfil the mandatory criteria of the differing role personal competency, and satisfaction. This rich tapestry of experience has been like working through the chapters of a book, as each chapter closes another new one has opened. There have been obstacles along the way, but these have provided challenges which on achievement have given life satisfaction. The family have accompanied, adapted and travelled along this journey, the children each involved in differing aspects of nursing opportunities.

Customer Reviews
4 reviews
4 reviews
  • Jane Parker

    I have just finished this little book. It is a triumph not only did Barbara portray the era of care which made one realise how little knowledge was available and how so many people suffered terribly before seeking help. Barbara's compassion came through time and time again along with her ability to laugh and cry with these communities .My own parents were of that generation they never discussed anything and going to the Drs was only if you were dying. ! What Barbara achieved was remarkable in such harsh conditions whether it be weather, geographical or typical mindsets of the era. A really enlightening read.

  • Sheila Williams

    Recounted in Barbara's inimitable style, this unique insight into her life as a community nurse in remote parts of North Yorkshire during the mid 60s is a fascinating read. Depicting a way of life which has been swept aside by the social changes of recent decades, it underlines the importance of trust, compassion and kindness which must exist between nurse and patient.

  • Mona Tyler

    Learning ‘on the job’ was the vision of Florence Nightingale herself in the late 19th century as she emphasized personal development through experience plus the desire to LEARN MORE and ‘not go back’.

    These sentiments are epitomised in Barbara Borwell’s life in the nursing profession: but in addition, her energetic and creative concern for her patients is patently obvious as we read of the encounters in this book.

    Here is a nurse dedicated not only to her patients but to the community in general as her initiatives encouraged and emboldened people to support each other in proactive groups that inspired social integration.

    There is a distinctive personal touch in the events captured in this book: and an opportunity for us, as readers, to relish the ingenuity of a deeply committed District Nurse who augmented her medical equipment with imaginative backups!

    You will encounter homemade oxtail soup in flasks, cotton pants from jumble sales, balloons to alleviate pressure sores, bricks wrapped in hessian sacks……and watch out for the parrot who has a penchant for lamb chops!

    I can thoroughly recommend this book, which is informative, interesting, and in many HOMELY ways delightful.

  • Jane Joyce

    So enjoyed reading this and learning about Barbara’s working life in those days. Sensitively written and informative.

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