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Church in Action

Interview with a nurse

From the October 1968 issue of The Christian Science Journal

She had thought about social work. Law interested her, too, except for the long years of academic preparation. She wanted something she could dig into right away—something practical and humanitarian. While in her branch Church of Christ, Scientist, a small notice with the words "Christian Science Nurse" caught her eye. A Christian Scientist all her life, she'd never heard of that profession. Investigating, she found it was just what she'd always wanted. She applied to the Christian Science Nurses Training School, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and was interviewed and accepted.

Coming up the drive to Chestnut Hill the first time, she was seized with stage fright. "This is such a big place. I'm so alone!" A college student working there weekends found her in tears at the front door. He became her first close friend, and before long she had others. "Soon I was wrapped up in the love everyone shows here," Judy said, calling the atmosphere "homelike." At first she looked up to the more seasoned nurses with something between respect and awe; but midway in her training she found herself stepping into their shoes.

Judy (in uniform known only as Miss Jones, even to her best friends) lives in the Associates Building, which is connected by tunnel to the Sanatorium. When she is on the day shift, she is up early for a period of Christian Science study to get her day metaphysically under control. "Sometimes I read the Lesson-Sermon standing up because I might fall asleep," she laughs. "But it's nice to wake up feeling you're going to do something worthwhile with your day." Punctually at seven she reports for her room assignments and begins to make her guests comfortable for the day, changing dressings, giving baths, making beds. She lunches with fellow workers and then serves guests a hot meal. Afternoons there is usually time for metaphysical study and giving necessary aid to guests. She attends classes in the various subjects included in the curriculum, which calls for considerable homework. Off duty at 3 p.m., Judy frequently takes a long walk with her roommate.

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