From the Archives – Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing WWII-1950ish

[ Music ]>>With the US entering the Second World War, a dire need for nurses developed
both at home and overseas. The government responded by enlisting the
aid of various nursing schools nationwide.>>The major affect the war on us was
that after two years of our nurses training, the government came in with the Cadet
Corp program and agreed to pay for the, our education so that the hospital told us
then we could either forfeit our two years at Samuel Merit Hospital or go somewhere else
and go somewhere else to finish our education or we could stay under the government program
in which case we would be frozen to our jobs when we graduated and the only way that
we could get out of the job if we didn’t like it was to go into the military. We got government uniforms, Cadet Corp uniforms
which were different from our Merritt uniforms. Dear beloved member of our great Merritt
family, here it is August 15, 1945. The V-J Day to all intents and purposes. When the radio broke the news
at four p.m. on the fourteenth, the nurses home became the bedlam of hysterical
shrikes and a mad scramble to get dressed and out to promptly greet
V-J Day on a general eight. When class holiday for the probies
were declared for the following day, excitement consumed the alley. The splashing of water in the shower
room to accomplish the toileting of the hastily departing probies was like the
mighty continuous dashing of the great Niagara. Sincerely, Jessie E. Stevens.>>[Music] After the war, the
cadet nurse program came to an end. Student work hours were reduced to only 40 per
week, allowing for two full days off, however, the forty hours still did not
include classes and study time.>>Basically the hospital could not
have functioned without the student nurses. We had to learn on the go and very quickly. We work like RN’s our senior year
and received ten dollars a month for keeping the hospital running smoothly.>>We didn’t have any aids, we didn’t
have an LBM’s when we were students, we did everything for the patients. We took total care of the patients. [ Music ]

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