In a heartwarming display of compassion and gratitude, healthcare assistant Nora Tageldin was recently rewarded for her exceptional care towards Harrow patient Jeanie Traynor Maltby.
Jeanie, a former nurse herself, expressed her appreciation by presenting Nora with a personally signed copy of her autobiography, recounting her remarkable experiences as a staff nurse from 1950 to 1962.
Nora Tageldin, known for her friendly and attentive nature, formed a special bond with 90-year-old Jeanie during her time under her care. Nora remarked, “I enjoy chatting with patients, and it was a pleasure to look after Jeanie. She was full of captivating stories about her time as a nurse, including her work at Northwick Park before I was even born.”
Jeanie’s autobiography, titled “From Dunfermline to London – Memoirs of a Staff Nurse,” provides a vivid account of her nursing career. Reflecting on her early days, she recalled, “My first job was washing out bedpans and making beds.” Jeanie’s journey began as a “fever nurse” in Scotland, earning a modest sum of £6.15p per month.
She humorously added, “The remaining money went on the coffee shop, ballroom dancing, the cinema, and black stockings.”
Prior to her nursing career, Jeanie briefly worked in an insurance office, which she described as a “lonely existence twiddling her thumbs.” It was her neighbour’s suggestion that ultimately led her to pursue nursing. Recollecting her interview with the matron, Jeanie reminisced, “Matron asked if I was in good health, observant, and would put my heart and soul into the job. I found myself being measured up for a uniform half an hour later and told to report for work the next day.”
The strict regime of the hospital required single nurses to reside within the hospital grounds, with lights out at 11pm. Any deviation from the curfew necessitated an explanation to the matron the following morning.
Jeanie’s nursing career took her from Scotland to London, where she eventually joined the newly established Northwick Park Hospital in the 1970s. Her extensive career included working in the NHS, nursing homes, and serving as an agency nurse, tending to patients in their own homes. Over the years, she encountered and cared for numerous notable individuals, including the Queen Mother, actress Judy Garland, and comedian Tony Hancock, as well as patients’ partners like author Daphne du Maurier and actor Richard Todd.
Expressing her gratitude for a fulfilling career, Jeanie shared, “I was very lucky to have such a fulfilling career and always treated my patients like they were members of my own family. I am still blessed with a good memory and often look back on those days with a smile on my face.”
Her autobiography, “From Dunfermline to London – Memoirs of a Staff Nurse,” is now available on Amazon, offering readers a fascinating glimpse into the world of nursing during that era.