Lecture and exhibition will explore changes to nurse education

Monday, 21 March 2016

Study days 1960s

Dr Ann Bradshaw, Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing at Oxford Brookes will be giving a public lecture this Thursday (24 March) looking at how nursing has changed in the last 125 years.

The lecture is one of a series of lectures taking place this year as part of the University’s celebrations to mark 125 years of nurse education in Oxford, which launched in January.

Dr Ann Bradshaw said: “In a 1978 history of the United Oxford Hospitals, the Matron of the Radcliffe Infirmary from 1942 to 1965, Edith Preddy, is described as ‘one of the last of the direct descendants of Florence Nightingale’. In my lecture I will consider what this meant, particularly for nurse training.

“Firstly I will explore Nightingale’s system of nurse training at St Thomas’s Hospital, secondly I will look at the formalising of this system and its development under the General Nursing Council 1919-1977. Thirdly I will draw out its relevance to modern nursing education.”

In a 1978 history of the United Oxford Hospitals, the Matron of the Radcliffe Infirmary from 1942 to 1965, Edith Preddy, is described as ‘one of the last of the direct descendants of Florence Nightingale’. In my lecture I will consider what this meant, particularly for nurse training.

Dr Ann Bradshaw, Senior Lecturer Adult Nursing, Oxford Brookes University

There will also be a special archive exhibition of nursing history.

Lead organiser, Tree Bentley, is a member of the Radcliffe Guild of Nurses and a former nurse teacher and counsellor, she said: “There will be a lot of things in the exhibition which go all the way back to when I first applied to train as a nurse in the 1960s, particularly old photographs of my well-known tutors and information on Nurse Muriel Flack my clinical teacher who delivered the first dose of intramuscular penicillin in Oxford. We’ll also be looking back at how computers changed nurse education, because of course before then everything was handwritten.

“Other artefacts will include old medical instruments and equipment used at the John Radcliffe, and mannequins with examples of different uniforms. These include sisters’ uniforms, capes, hats and modern male student nurse uniforms. We have the linen bags we used to send our uniforms to the laundry in too, the uniforms used to come back starched and very stiff.

“There will also be information on the Radcliffe Guild of Nurses, Florence Nightingale and John Radcliffe himself. I really want to encourage people from all ages to come along to the exhibition and ask us questions. There will be something for everyone and it is a great opportunity to swop fond memories and stories.”

Tree trained as a nurse at the old Radcliffe Infirmary and was an ENT staff nurse in the operating theatre, then a sister, clinical teacher and counsellor. In 1978 she set up the first nurse counselling service in Oxford. Moving into higher education she was a lecturer when the former Oxford Polytechnic first became Oxford Brookes University, and also worked for student services counselling. Tree trained a number of students and staff, and also set up the first known undergraduate module in therapeutic massage.

The lecture, followed by the exhibition, will take place this Thursday 24 March at 5.00pm in the Jane Ashley Lecture Theatre at the University’s Marston Road site. To book visit the Events webpages.

The celebrations are in partnership with local health trusts in both Oxford and at the University’s Swindon Campus. Find out about future events, which include further lectures, social events, exhibitions and fundraising activities, on the Department of Nursing’s webpages.

Image: Study days 1960s