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Historic footage shows Watford teens training to be nurses

 Published on: 1st May 2019   |   By: Jake Levison   |   Category: Uncategorized

Every so often we like to go back in time and relive the fascinating history of Watford.

This month, we look at a news video from 1945 showing young girls training to become nurses in an innovative Watford programme.

The black and white footage, courtesy of newsreel archive, British Pathé, shows teenage girls in Watford in 1945 training to become nurses through what was a unique scheme at the time.

It was a residential college called the Watford Nursing Cadets and was for 14-18-year-olds who knew they wanted to become nurses but were too young to go straight into hospital or day nursery work. 

The college provided students with the knowledge they needed to forge a successful nursing career in a comfortable environment without having to take on the responsibility of real patients and situations.

In the video, students are shown studying a skeleton in anatomy class, learning how to treat unwell people through handling dummies, and sitting through lectures by sanitary inspectors on how to tell if meat is safe for consumption – two students look particularly animated as a huge slab of meat is dropped on the table in front of them.

The training nurses looked after real children in nursery practice, and they can be seen playing with them and cleaning them later in the news piece.

To view the video go to

Picture courtesy of British Pathé

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