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00:00:01 - Start of first interview 00:00:34 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: So just to get an idea about your background...

Segment Synopsis: Oldest of three children, parents lived in Madison and in a community called Crestwood. She went to grade school out there and high school in Madison. They had a school nurse that she thought highly of and who was a friend to her mom. Also one of her aunts was a nurse who would share interesting stories about nurses. She also read the Cherry Ames books which were about nursing and were popular back in the 50’s which influenced her in that they glorified the profession. A couple of her friends and her started at a home nursing program, but she decided she wanted to be a bedside nurse over an at home nurse, which is why she transferred to Madison General. It was hard work but she appreciated it.

Keywords: Cherry Ames books; Crestwood

00:05:38 - First impressions of Madison

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Partial Transcript: So what were your first impressions of Madison...

Segment Synopsis: She didn’t know anyone there and she remembers that everyone came with their parents to move into the dorm. Two of her roommates actually knew each other from college, and had even shared a major. [Interviewer clarified that she started school in 1957 and graduated in 1960]. She graduated from high school in ’56. She knew Madison because she lived around there, and knew Madison General from prior experience. She was excited at the prospect of being away from home.

Keywords: dorms; independence

00:07:05 - Life at Madison General

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Partial Transcript: And so did you live in a dorm?

Segment Synopsis: She lived in McConnell Hall, and her class did not live in Rest Harrow as it was being torn down. Many of them had to double up rooms and the space was tight. She described the layout of the house and where girls went. She remembers that quite a few dropped out right away because of the difficulty of the course. About 50 people as far as she remembers. She described tea time they would have in the dorms, getting to know each other over tea. She described a time in one winter where she and some friends went ice skating in Vilas Park. Occasionally they would have dances and described what that was like.

Keywords: McConnell Hall; Rest Harrow; Vilas Park; tea

00:14:20 - Classes

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Partial Transcript: So kind of going more towards...

Segment Synopsis: They had some classes at the university which she remembers as a long walk, and she describes her first year classes. She describes classes in the dorms as well, and she remembers practicing almost every procedure on other people. She remembers that instead of them starting IV’s that they would call a team. Back at the dorm, she describes house mothers and their role. She remembers curfew at 10pm every night, and the cleaning crew who the students got close to. They were divided up into different groups at different hospitals, went to Milwaukee Children’s Hospital first. She remembers the heat and the intensity of the workload which was an eye opening experience. They were working alongside graduate students as well. They also worked at the Veteran’s Hospital and she remembers the unique illnesses they would come into there. The food was particularly good there. Mendota State Hospital for the mentally ill was another rotation site that she describes her time at. She also remembers first seeing the Madison Diagnostic Center where she would eventually work at.

Keywords: IVs; Madison Diagnostic Center; Mendota Psychiatric Hospital; Milwaukee Children’s Hospital; curfew; house mothers; rules

00:22:58 - Important faculty

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Partial Transcript: So did you or do you remember any faculty...

Segment Synopsis: They were all very good. They were slightly afraid of one of the supervisors who disciplined them for getting out of line. In the beginning, several students were asked to leave early on, and the ambiguity made it scary as a student to understand what was going on as they didn’t want to do something wrong. She remembers it cost $600 for the education, and she appreciated the 3 year program as she got so much hands on experience helping people even before her professional career. She mentions how now nurses don’t get much experience prior to their careers nowadays.

Keywords: Nursing; education; faculty

00:24:07 - Challenges/Important take aways

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Partial Transcript: So were there any particularly...

Segment Synopsis: In the beginning, several students were asked to leave early on, and the ambiguity made it scary as a student to understand what was going on as they didn’t want to do something wrong. She remembers it cost $600 for the education, and she appreciated the 3 year program as she got so much hands on experience helping people even before her professional career. She mentions how now nurses don’t get much experience prior to their careers nowadays. The hands on experience meant the most to her, as her teachers had emphasized the importance of practice and expertise. Some of their rotations even included surgery which she felt was unique.

Keywords: difficulty; hands on experience; practice

00:27:57 - Doctor-Nurse relationships

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Partial Transcript: What were the relationships like...

Segment Synopsis: They weren’t taught that they had to cater to the doctors but there was a hierarchy of respect. Some doctors did yell at the nurses on occasion but it wasn’t the norm. One of the things she was proud about was that she was the president of the Madison Student Nurses Association in her senior year, and that that position showed her whole new challenges. She communicated between nurses associations and schools and she played an important role sin communications between groups. The associations had meetings every other month and they would talk about their experiences in the hospitals and in what ways they could collaborate. Sometimes they would have fundraisers or other organized activities.

Keywords: Madison Student Nurses Association; hierarchy

00:31:21 - Unusual practices

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Partial Transcript: So were there any practices of methods...

Segment Synopsis: She claims that just about everything has changed. Even when she was retiring computers were just coming into medical use and it completely changed how they handled things. She describes some challenges about dosage and such without computers and how that has all changed.

Keywords: computers; technology

00:33:02 - Final thoughts about nursing school

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Partial Transcript: And is there anything else from your training...

Segment Synopsis: She made some terrific friends and enjoys the alumni meetings. People from the hospital comes to speak, and she describes what normally happens at the alumni meetings. She recollects the losses that they have had of classmates, and remembers them fondly.

Keywords: alumni meetings; friendship

00:34:59 - Post graduation career

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Partial Transcript: So tell me about your career in nursing...

Segment Synopsis: She worked at the diagnostic center with the kids, and after marriage and children she followed her husband to Lacrosse and worked in a hospital there. She moved to Ohio at one point as well in the cancer units, but at that point no one really knew what to do besides give them pain medication as chemotherapy did not exist yet. They then moved to Milwaukee. She talks more about moving around and all her different positions. She started in 1960 and quit in 2014 with breaks in between so around 45 years.

Keywords: Lacrosse, WI; chemotherapy; diagnostics

00:38:50 - Memories from nursing career

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Partial Transcript: So just tell me about some of the memorable moments...

Segment Synopsis: She remembers being with more than one person when they died, and being in that position was memorable. She learned a lot about psychiatry at the diagnostic center, and remembers how autism often went undiagnosed. Working together as a team with other nurses in educating other people was a big positive for her.

Keywords: autism; death; psychiatry

00:42:47 - Advice to nursing students/Final thoughts

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Partial Transcript: So what advice would you give nursing students...

Segment Synopsis: She says to try to get as much experience as possible before jumping into your career. Any experience working with people. She has made good friends and was happy with her education.

Keywords: experience

00:45:52 - End of first interview 00:45:55 - Start of second interview 00:46:14 - Clarifications

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Partial Transcript: Just to clarify what is your birthdate and what...

Segment Synopsis: Her birthday is January 6th, 1938 and her maiden name is Blomgren.

Keywords: birthday; maiden name

00:46:31 - World events

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Partial Transcript: So just generally, were there any...

Segment Synopsis: There was an event that was in the state of Wisconsin where a man named Edward Gein from Plainfield, Wisconsin was arrested and imprisoned for serial killings and making furniture out of their skins. The girls living in the dorm felt afraid because of this event. She said that although Plainfield was a good distance away it hit close to home for her. She remarked how they were very busy as students so news was not at the forefront of their attention. She felt that they paid more attention to the news that was going on in their community. However, when future President Kennedy was becoming more known she felt that people were talking about him and his family.

Keywords: Edward Gein; President Kennedy; serial killer

00:49:07 - Family response to nursing school

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Partial Transcript: How did your friends and family feel about...

Segment Synopsis: Her family said that her family had always known that she was interested in being a nurse since she was very young, so they were happy to see her following her dream.

Keywords: acceptance; approval; family

00:49:27 - Alumni relations

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Partial Transcript: And so you mentioned that you and some of your classmates...

Segment Synopsis: She tells how she had a very active class in that people were officers in the alumni group. She herself was not an officer but she has attended as many alumni events as possible except in the last couple years. Her class was very active and still is in maintaining what she believes is a treasure of history. She and her classmates were all good friends who felt they had gotten a great education and they felt that it was important to preserve their experience. The education they received was just what they needed in her opinion.

Keywords: Alumni; active; friendships

00:51:30 - Final thoughts of the second interview

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Partial Transcript: And is there anything else you would like to add...

Segment Synopsis: She talked with a couple of her classmates and she wanted the interviewer to know that they really appreciated their experience. She said that her experience in the hospital recently has illuminated the lack of interpersonal connection between the nurse and the patient compared to what her experience was. From what she observed as a patient, she was surprised at the lack of interpersonal contact. The nurses now have different duties and once they complete them then they are out. She says the aides spend much more one on one time with the patients. She felt it was disappointing, as she felt that they treated her as a number rather than a person. She also mentioned that she made it a point to tell them that she had worked at that hospital for over 30 years and she felt that the treatment was not great. When people are ill, she felt they need some TLC and understanding. Some nurses were very good at that, but she felt that many of them did not care enough to go the extra mile. She hopes she can pass on this wish to some of her younger family members. She said that machinery has added many more roles to the nursing career. They must be much more tech savvy along with the medical education. She said that the hospital bed she was given in her visit would need to be maintained by a mechanic rather than a nurse. She wants people to know that nursing is a great occupation, and that her education at Madison General was amazing. She says that her hands on experience in the hospital was very beneficial to her, and that nursing students today often do not have that advantage.

Keywords: changes; patient care; technology

00:59:04 - End of Second Interview