Partial Transcript: So for your background, describe your upbringing.
Segment Synopsis: Grew up in Santa Barbara California. Previously, her father had been a UW Madison professor of Botany. As a child she engaged in what she called the "usual stuff", such as girl scouts and camping. She attended the junior college in Santa Barbara before going to the nursing school at Madison.
Keywords: California; girl scouts
Partial Transcript: Did anything in your background guide you to...
Segment Synopsis: EW claims she had wanted to be in the nursing profession since she was a small child. She notes her best friend from grade school also went on to become a nurse. She perceived that nurses were able to help people and have a profession where they can travel, go anywhere and that there was a relative amount of job security.
Keywords: childood; job security
Partial Transcript: What were your first impressions of Madison?
Segment Synopsis: She was born in Madison and had been there as a child until around age 4 so she remembered some parts of it, but Madison was bigger than the town she grew up in. She admired the lakes and commented how different it was from California; She had grown up around beaches and mountains, and the Midwest was remarkably flat. She could not recall exactly how large her class was, but she said they stared off with around forty students and shrunk to around thirty.
Keywords: lakes; moving
Partial Transcript: And did you all live in the dorms?
Segment Synopsis: All students but one lived in the dorms. EW had never lived in that kind of environment and had never been away from home in that fashion. Because she had come from far away, they placed her in the dorm with a Wisconsin resident who could show her around and introduce her to Midwestern life. EW goes on to describe a story where she experienced her first Wisconsin thunderstorm which scared her greatly, as her room had two windows. Her roommate then told her that this was a normal experience in Wisconsin and to not be intimidated by the weather. She says it was a different experience, with girls from all over the country (although most were from Wisconsin). She liked the fact that there were always people around to study with or enjoy Madison with.
Keywords: dormitory; dorms; weather
Partial Transcript: So what were some of the social...
Segment Synopsis: They used to go to the "Snack Shack", a local bar and eatery, and that was really the only place nearby unless they walked to Capitol square. They would go over to Vilas Park, and when she had classes she often borrowed a bike from a friend and go to extra classes at Edgewood College. Although not directly adjacent to her dorm, EW liked that most everything was in walking distance from her house. She claims to have kept in touch with a majority of the people who she had lived with in the dorms. They lost only one of their classmates thus far. She had family friends who lived in Madison as well as other professors who had worked with her father. She spent a significant amount of time with them, and remarked on the fact that there was much to do in Madison as a student.
Keywords: bars; recreation; vilas park
Partial Transcript: Right so moving into your training...
Segment Synopsis: They would work in the hospital part of the day and would then have classes the other part of the day. Each skill they learned they would read first and then have classes for practicing practical application. EW described how when they were learning to give IV's they would learn in the recovery room, so the patients would mostly be asleep. She attributes her fine-tuned skills involving the IV to her experiences in this program. She believes the skill level of what they learned in the diploma school is far superior to the level of education produced today.
Keywords: IV; application; lab skills
Partial Transcript: Do you remember any faculty...
Segment Synopsis: EW recalled several; Mrs. Bassett who was her counselor; Mrs. Green who was her OB instructor; Ms. Rudy who was orthopedic instructor, and a few others she could not recall immediately. She emphasized how excellent the instructors were.
Partial Transcript: And were there any particularly challenging aspects...
Segment Synopsis: Reading and figuring things out before class was always difficult. When she was older she realized that she was probably slightly dyslexic, but in her time that was not a diagnosed learning impediment. The practical examinations helped her in this respect, as being able to have her hands on the material rather than simply reading it made nursing a great career choice for her. There were not many outside resources, but the professors were always there to assist the students if they were struggling.
Keywords: Dyslexic; Reading; Studying
Partial Transcript: So can you give me some examples...
Segment Synopsis: They had every type of nursing there was. Prior to Madison General they had a year of regular college to take the basic science classes. Once they got to nursing school, they rotated between different types of nursing. They went to Mendota hospital and also spent time at a hospital in Milwaukee. When traveling to Milwaukee, she went with a friend and stayed in a dorm there as well. Pediatric nursing and operating rooms stuck out to her. She did not end up in either though, as she started in orthopedic nursing at Madison General before moving out to California once more. The hospital she had worked at in California needed a head nurse to cover emergency room procedures and Madison did not have extensive emergency room courses. Her choices of what she wanted to do and what she ended up doing, including being a navy nurse, did not come to fruition.
Keywords: Mendota Psychiatric Hospital; Milwaukee; rotations; science
Partial Transcript: Are there any practices or methods...
Segment Synopsis: The biggest difference she notes is how little time people spend in the hospital today, where they go in for surgery and within a day they are out of the hospital. In her time, it was normal for people to stay several days recuperating, concurrently building relationships with their nurses. She laments how rarely these relationships form in modern hospital settings. She remarks on the importance of hands on training in the diploma school and the realistic shifts she worked in the nursing profession. Individuals with her education found themselves picking up the slack for those without that rigorous training.
Keywords: Change; relationships
Partial Transcript: well moving on to your life after Madison
Segment Synopsis: She worked at Madison General, then moved to California in a county hospital as well as becoming an EMT. After a merger, she moved to a Catholic hospital in California. Her final profession was as a hand nurse, after which she would retire in around 1989.
Keywords: EMT; Paramedics
Partial Transcript: And what were some challenges...
Segment Synopsis: She found dealing with doctors was a challenge, particularly at the county hospital. Inexperienced or rule breaking doctors made it hard to maintain their licenses. She describes the circumstances surrounding disputes between doctors and nurses.Working at a county hospital and getting the chance to work with more challenging patients was a fulfilling task for her. She remarks on the importance of a sense of humor, then describes a story of a drunken Santa Claus, and the challenges posed by hallucinogenic drugs
Keywords: difficulties; hallucinogenic drugs; plastic surgeons
Partial Transcript: And is there anything else...
Segment Synopsis: She doesn't know if she would go into nursing again. It has changed so much. Madison General Hospital offered a uniquely useful education, and she wishes that the students of today and the future could have as excellent an education as she did during her time as a nursing student.
Keywords: education; fufilling
Partial Transcript: So in the original interview...
Segment Synopsis: She mentioned how she felt there was a much slower pace of life, no mountains nor the ocean which she had grown accustomed to. EW said that she did not think there was necessarily a large demand for nurses at the time but that she knew that nursing would allow her to work almost anywhere. She wanted to travel and have the opportunity of mobility.
Keywords: demand; ocean; slower pace
Partial Transcript: And you also mentioned you took extra...
Segment Synopsis: EW clarifies that at Madison General at the time you were meant to go for three years of schooling. However, she had been to a junior college before Madison General and was a credit shy of completing her prerequisite classes. EW states that the same class at Madison General would have probably been either more interesting or challenging. She said that her professor at Edgewood focused heavily on DNA which at the time was an emerging science, and she wished that perhaps they could have gone over more subjects in depth.
Keywords: DNA; Edgewood; Junior college
Partial Transcript: When discussing your struggles at school...
Segment Synopsis: Dyslexia or other learning issues that were not spotted during that period of time. For example, sometimes students would be placed in “slower” classes because they weren’t sure of what was going on. She also mentioned how the integration of autistic children into public and private schools had not happened during her time at school, so she did not remember specifically whether or not there were discrepancies in learning.
Keywords: Learning disabilities; autism; dyslexia
Partial Transcript: How much one on one time...
Segment Synopsis: They received as much as they needed from their professors she said. Each student had an advisor as well, so if there were ever any problems the advisors could help them out. She mentioned that her advisor was one of her professors. She left the profession before they really came into the picture, as she retired in about 1989. She had moved to an office career and used computers in that position, mostly for charting. [Charting is keeping track of patients/patient care].
Keywords: advisors; technology
Partial Transcript: you mentioned you worked at a Catholic hospital...
Segment Synopsis: Since the county “picked up the tab” for the hospital fees, everything came out in bulk pricing. There were rates per day which included all necessary care. In the private sector you were billed for everything and anything used to care for you. The Catholic hospital was run by a nun who would always work on raising money for the hospital. EW tells a story about how the nun once asked her to “roll out the red carpet” for a patient coming in and that she declined, wanting to treat everyone the same.
Keywords: catholic hopstials; county hospitals; private hospitals
Partial Transcript: But were there any other...
Segment Synopsis: EW mentioned how when she went to Madison General she had gone with her father, and how her father had met one of his school peers working at a pharmacy in town. When her class first went into nursing there were severe rules on dress, and one day the girls decided that they wanted to pierce their ears which was against the codes. It wasn’t long before those rules were dismissed. She clarified that they still wore caps at that time. She also tells how in the 70’s she was the first woman at her hospital to wear pants uniforms rather than skirts. She worked in Wisconsin from 1966 to mid 1967. Then she got engaged and moved to Santa Barbara, but when the engagement ended she moved back to Madison General for a number of years. She said that the type of cases they got was not determined by where you were in the US but what kind of hospital you worked in.
Keywords: engagement; nurses caps; rules