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This was an extremely well written memoir that gives a touching and enlightening account of the world of student nursing and healthcare from the early eighties. The story starts off with the author telling how she came to pursue nursing, that she was never encouraged to follow such a vocation, but literally ‘fell’ into the opportunity. She provides a very honest account of her fears as a young girl leaving home, the struggles she faced with the initial testing and preparations, and then the shock of her first ‘away from home’ housing experience. I was enlightened by her passion to do well, but also how she quickly assimilated into the student nursing lifestyle. The story contained a lovely balance of information and detail as well as humour and fun, which you would expect of an eighteen-year-old in the early eighties living away from home.
What made Ooh Matron! such an easy read was Sarah Jane Butfield’s conversational tone. She is honest, open and incredibly informative, and, as a reader who has not worked or been involved in the health profession at all, she takes one on a journey as though the reader is learning her apprenticeship with her. The introduction of a few key characters was also very engaging, and added to the memoir in an entertaining way. A wonderfully touching story of a woman who clearly loved her entire experience of becoming a nurse and of working within the healthcare profession. If this is the first of a series, it will be encouraging to read the follow ups and I look forward to more by Sarah Jane Butfield.