The Desk with a Secret

This rather ordinary looking desk at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital holds a secret.

Student Desk, Ca 1960-1980. AR#10403

All you have to do is pull the desk drawer open, and all its secrets are revealed…

On the base of the inside of the desk drawer are the scrawled messages of trainee nurses from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. They range in dates from the late 1960s up to the 1980s. The content of the messages give a small insight into how the trainees were feeling as they sat through the lectures that were part of their training:

This is the last time I shall sit in this seat, I hope. 9.3.79


I’m bored with lectures


Only 8 weeks to go now

Nurses training in classroom. AR#11400

Nursing training began at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 1954 with the midwifery training school. General nursing training began soon after in 1959. Trainees had six weeks of classroom based training, known as the Preliminary Training School or PTS, before they began hospital based training.

Nurse Educator giving a demonstration to students. AR#10788

The PTS included a demonstration room equipped to resemble a hospital ward, where the trainees were able to learn practical skills.

In-hospital training continued at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital until the 1990s, after which it shifted to University based learning.

Written by Jonathan Hull