Nursing documentary | Parkland Nursing School

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Nursing Documentary About Parkland Nursing School & Old Parkland Hospital


This nursing documentary video about Old Parkland Hospital was commissioned by Crow Holdings. Interviews were conducted with Old Parkland Hospital alumni doctors, nurses, nursing students and faculty.

Vivian Meadows Mobley | Parkland Nursing School 1947-1953

Parkland was an RN School, three years of training. The cost of three years nursing school in 1947 was $300 for the three years.

Laverne Holman Foster | Parkland Nursing School 1950 - 1954

The nurses home was right next to Parkland. It was nice and convenient. There were about 40 of us on one floor and there were two people to a bedroom. We had a nurse ... house mother that we had to check in and checkout when we left.

Marie Groh Libby | Parkland Nursing School 1951-1954

Our uniforms had a white collar, white cuffs and it was blue and white striped with a little cotton belt on it. Of course, we wore the white stockings and shoes. Then before we went in our second year, we had a capping ceremony. Where we got the caps. We had took the white collar off and we put on bib and a apron. The hospital kept those clean for us and starched them and delivered them back, also the cap. Our third year, that was the reason for the black cap. As you can see, it just falls back and it’s got a little button in the back.

Laverne Holman Foster

We just did mostly class work the first year but then we started in hospital. We worked on different floors. The lower floor was the medicine floor and the floors were cement. When the people that cleaned washed the floors, they just look just as bad when I got through as it when I started.

Bettye J Spillman Henderson | Parkland Nursing School 1945-1955

We lived in the basement for six months during our preclinical period. After that, if we did not pass all the grades or anything, we were washed at. I lived in a small room in the north west corner of the basement and I had six roommates. Three of them washed out at the end of six months. Four of us stayed and of that four, three graduated in 1948.

Laverne Holman Foster

We didn't have air conditioning and so the windows were open in the summer time because it was so hot, we just nearly died with those uniforms and the masks and the hat.

Bettye L. Goodell Johnson | Parkland Nursing School 1948 – 1951

It was very intense, our work and studies but I think we had so much more experiences working in the hospital than, maybe, later nurses had. We had very, very good training, very good instructors.

Martha Bledsoe Sanford | Parkland School of Nursing 1953-1956

In those days we washed every tube that went in and out of the body. We had to wash all the needles and syringes. They bury the needles and we had no experience in that.

Laverne Holman Foster

The laundry would come up and they'd pile it on the old gurney and we’d sit there if we weren't scrubbed or circulating in the operating room and fold up the hats and the masks and put them because it had to be just so-so and then we put them in the box so the doctors could grab them and nurses when they went in the operating room.

Bettye J Spillman Henderson

In leaving the nurses home to go the hospital to work or return in, if we were there at the door to leave, we had to stand and hold the door open if an upper class man was coming up the walk and we stood and held the door open until they pass through. Then we could leave and close the door. If we met them on the walkway coming or going, we always had to greet them with “Good morning Miss so and so,” or “Good afternoon Miss so and so.” Everybody was known by their last name. No one was known by first names.

Peggy Hirth Petty | Parkland Nursing School 1953-1956

We had to go to the anatomy lab where the medical students were working on cadavers. This was probably the second month that I was here. To walk into that room and to smell that odor and to see the all of those bodies, I thought what am I doing here? That took a while to get over that but then once you get beyond that, then it's fine.

Barbara Gray | Parkland Nursing School 1953-1956

My first year, we had a curfew. We didn't have a key. Our junior and senior years, we had keys to the front door of the nurses quarters but we still had a curfew. If you didn't make that curfew, you had to go to the emergency room and that night watchman would bring you to over and then you got called in, if you were late getting in. That's what they tell me, that's what...

Martha Bledsoe Sanford

As students, we did everything that was to be done. We didn't have very many nurses at that time, maybe one per unit and even not that many in the evening time but we had to work in central supply and that was one of my favorite places. I didn't like the job but it gave us an opportunity to flirt with the medical students.

Laverne Holman Foster

In the nursing home, on our floor, there were probably, I'm thinking about 30 of us in two to a bedroom but there was only one telephone for the whole, all of us.

Betty Sanders Perry | Parkland Nursing School 1948 - 1954

All of us in the class was close as sisters because we were all very young, such awesome new experiences that we shared together. Nobody else can share that with you unless you've been through it. It was like anatomy lab. That was interesting.

Martha Bledsoe Sanford

As a student, we pretty much had to take care and do all the baths and beds and all those kind of things but on the private floor we had young people and we had a couple of police officers that had had motorcycle accidents and they were in for the long-term. That was fun. Most of our patients were not fun because they were elderly and ...

Bettye J Spillman Henderson

The roof of the nurses home had an area about four foot tall around it and the girls went up there on their days off and time off when they could and took sun baths all in nude. Well, that was stopped because one day, the director of nurses got on the bus in front of the nursing home with some of the nurses. We were surprised to find there were several airmen that were stationed at Littlefield that got out pictures and started looking at them and comparing them to the nurses getting on the buses to see if they could spot anybody whose picture they had taken on a fly by. Laverne Holman Foster I hadn't heard anything about that. It may or may not be true. I don't recall seeing any airplanes. That's funny.

Martha Bledsoe Sanford

It was a place where I think I learned about what it meant to be a human being. I hope that that would be part of its heritage. I learned what segregation was all about. I learned what life and death was all about. I came from being a naive, uneducated 17 year old to going out to the cadaver lab every Wednesday afternoon and observing cadavers. I mean, that was a shock to actually suddenly see all of these corpses. I think I just grew up very fast here because of the what was going on with people who are human beings.

Vivian Meadows Mobley

When I was in the Nursing School Parkland Hospital and a doctor walked into the room, the nurse stood up. When I've done that since, even now, when a doctor walks into my room and I stand up if I know him and know he’s a physician. They ask me, why do you stand up? I said because I'm a Parkland Nurse and we were taught to stand up when the doctor came into the room. I haven't been able to get away from that yet. It's something about what you've learned in Parkland that’s still with you today.


Nursing documentary About Parkland Nursing School & Old Parkland Hospital


Old Parkland | Crow Holdings | 3819 Maple Avenue Dallas, TX 75219 |


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