Cherry Ames 02 Senior Nurse

CHERRY AMES NURSE STORIES

CHERRY AMES

SENIOR NURSE

By

HELEN WELLS

New York

Copyright © 1944 by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.

Copyright © renewed 2006 by Harriet Schulman Forman Springer Publishing Company, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Springer Publishing Company, Inc.

Springer Publishing Company, Inc.

11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor New York, NY 10036-8002

Production Editor: Print Matters, Inc.

Cover design by Takeout Graphics, Inc.

Composition: Compset, Inc.

06 07 08 09 10/5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Wells, Helen, 1910–

Cherry Ames, senior nurse / by Helen Wells.

p. cm. — (Cherry Ames nurse stories) Summary: During their final year of training, Cherry Ames and her friends at Spencer Hospital face difficult decisions about their futures as nurses during wartime.

ISBN 0-97715-971-X (pbk.)

[1. Nurses—Fiction. 2. Hospitals—Fiction. 3. World War, 1939–1945—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.W4644Cq 2005

[Fic]—dc22

2005051738

Printed in the United States of America by Bang Printing
Contents

FOREWORD

vii

I

Senior Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1

II

Dreams and Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

21

III

Two Strange People

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

29

IV

Very Small Fry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

41

V

Midge Makes Mischief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

59

VI

An Orchid or Gardenias . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

78

VII

Double Trouble . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

85

VIII

Black Lace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

101

IX

Operating Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

111

X

Mom Talks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

132

XI

Three Letters

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

158

XII

Madame Zaza

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

164

XIII

Lex Is Proven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

177

XIV

Day of Glory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

202

XV

Cherry Decides . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

211

iii
Foreword

Helen Wells, the author of the Cherry Ames stories, said, “I’ve always thought of nursing, and perhaps you have, too, as just about the most exciting, important, and rewarding, profession there is. Can you think of any other skill that is
always
needed by everybody, everywhere?”

I was and still am a fan of Cherry Ames. Her courageous dedication to her patients; her exciting escapades; her thirst for knowledge; her intelligent application of her nursing skills; and the respect she achieved as a registered nurse (RN) all made it clear to me that I was going to follow in her footsteps and become a nurse—

nothing else would do. Thousands of other young people were motivated by Cherry Ames to become RNs
iv

v

F O R E W O R D

as well. Cherry Ames motivated young people on into the 1970s, when the series ended. Readers who remember reading these books in the past will enjoy rereading them now—whether or not they chose nursing as a career—and perhaps sharing them with others.

My career has been a rich and satisfying one, during which I have delivered babies, saved lives, and cared for people in hospitals and in their homes. I have worked at the bedside and served as an administrator. I have published journals, written articles, taught students, consulted, and given expert testimony. Never once did I regret my decision to enter nursing.

During the time that I was publishing a nursing journal, I became acquainted with Robert Wells, brother of Helen Wells. In the course of conversation I learned that Ms. Wells had passed on and left the Cherry Ames copyright to Mr. Wells. Because there is a shortage of nurses here in the US today, I thought,

“Why not bring Cherry back to motivate a whole new generation of young people? Why not ask Mr. Wells for the copyright to Cherry Ames?” Mr. Wells agreed, and the republished series is dedicated both to Helen Wells, the original author, and to her brother Robert Wells who transferred the rights to me. I am proud to ensure the continuation of Cherry Ames into the twenty-first century.

The final dedication is to you, both new and old
F O R E W O R D

vi

readers of Cherry Ames: It is my dream that you enjoy Cherry’s nursing skills as well as her escapades. I hope that young readers will feel motivated to choose nursing as your life’s work. Remember, as Helen Wells herself said: there’s no other skill that’s “
always
needed by everybody, everywhere.”

Harriet Schulman Forman, RN, Ed.D.

Series Editor

c h a p t e r i

Senior Year

the rising bell clanged. cherry carefully wrapped the covers around her ears, turned over and went back to sleep.

When she awoke again, her eyes fell on the clock and she leaped wildly out of bed. She had overslept a whole half-hour! It was
really
late! Half-asleep, she dashed automatically for the maple chest of drawers and collided with a chair instead. Then Cherry remembered. Of course—this wasn’t her old room—this was her new room in Crowley, the residence for seniors and graduate nurses! Starting this morning she was a senior—and she was late! Cherry scrambled into her clothes as the clock ticked loudly and warningly. She ran to the closet and pulled out a crisp blue and white striped uniform, with black chevrons on the shoulder.

2

C H E R R Y A M E S , S E N I O R N U R S E

Late or not, Cherry stopped for breath and a moment’s gloating over those senior chevrons.

Then she dashed over to the mirror and slammed her nurse’s cap on her head. A breathless girl of twenty looked back at her—a slim, lovely girl with black eyes and black curls, and cheeks and lips so red they had earned her her name. She struggled to get her apron tied, but the bow balked. Outside in the corridor, instead of the usual bedlam of nurses, there was a profound silence—they all had left for breakfast long ago! “It’s still me,” Cherry marveled at her reflection.

“Cherry Ames, from Hilton, Illinois, a senior and not changed a bit! Still tardy!”

She swept up her bandage scissors from where they lay on her radio. That radio was a proud sign of her brand-new estate, for Spencer Nursing School allowed only seniors and graduate nurses to have radios. The clock ticked louder than ever. Cherry raced out of her room, dashed down the stairs and burst out of Crowley’s front door. Far away, Cherry made out white figures leaving the dining room, not entering it. “Late, late, always late!” she mourned. “And I’m starving!” But the nurses’ dining room in Spencer Hall, at the far end of the yard, was a good ten minutes’ walk away, she figured hungrily. And Cherry’s new assignment—

her first ward duty as a senior!—was way down at the other end of the yard. Her friend Ann Evans, who was
S E N I O R Y E A R

3

assigned there too, probably already was on the ward.

“Q.E.D. no breakfast,” Cherry thought, and started off at a sprint.

It was a sunny, bright blue morning, already hot at seven o’clock. Cherry hurried down the flagstone path past the many white hospital buildings, calling good morning to brisk passing nurses and internes. This was her world, she had earned a place in it, and she loved it. That is, it was her world provided she could survive her senior year. Cherry knew that this morning she was embarking on the hardest of all her three years nurses training, and was facing the severest tests so far. She tried to think some serious thoughts about it. But all she could think of was the gnawing in her stomach. She told herself sternly, as she rounded the corner to the Pediatrics Clinic, that the gnawing came from hunger and not from nervousness. She was not scared about a new and very difficult type of ward duty—Children’s Ward—certainly not!

Cherry ran up the steps of the Children’s Clinic with her full blue and white skirt swirling around her, her crisp white apron crackling, and one hand anchoring her pert white cap. Puffing, she got into the ground floor just in time to see the elevator disappear upwards.

The dispensary with its rows of benches, its desks and filing cabinets, its cubicles of examination rooms, was deserted. Within two hours, it would be overflowing and
4

C H E R R Y A M E S , S E N I O R N U R S E

noisy with clinic patients. Small boys and girls who had managed to get themselves banged up, battered, scratched, out of joint, or were on their way to being sick, would be treated here and sent home, with instructions and medication, and perhaps with orders to come back. Next door in the Babies’ Clinic, there would be expectant mothers, wisely being checked up periodically, and eagerly attending the Prenatal class in how to make hygienic preparations at home for the babies who were on their way.

“That’s a class I’d like to teach,” Cherry thought ambitiously, “either here in a clinic, or as a visiting nurse going right straight into people’s homes. That would be fun.”

But her new Children’s Ward should be fun, she thought,
if
she ever got there. Where was that elevator?

She looked anxiously up the shaft.

Finally the car slid down, and Cherry squeezed in.

Most of the car was taken up by a large steam wagon full of breakfast for the patients. Cherry’s mouth watered.

The wagon was in charge of a small stooped woman wearing a maid’s black dress and white apron. Her old eyes, in their network of wrinkles, were bright and friendly as a robin’s. The elevator operator disappeared for the morning newspapers.

“Top of the morning to you, Miss Ames,” the little maid sang out. “Sure, and I know you! Doesn’t the whole
S E N I O R Y E A R

5

of Spencer Hospital know the girl who’s always so full of fun and—–”

“What’s
your
name?” Cherry interrupted hastily.

The little maid beamed at her. “I’m Lucy from the Children’s Ward. You may have heard of
me
, for Lucy is the children’s friend. And it will be a great happiness to have you on my ward.” As Cherry’s eyes widened, she added, “There’s not much going on on her own ward that Lucy does not know!” She lowered her voice mysteriously. “I’ll bet you’ll never guess what I’ve got in this-here old wagon for the children.

Besides breakfast, I mean to say. Ah, come on now, guess!”

Cherry guessed, for she had heard of the unlikely things Lucy lugged around in that steam wagon, despite hospital regulations. “A geranium? A picture book? A—

let’s see—some new crayons?”

“I have got one straggly geranium. But look at this!” Lucy raised the lid of an unheated compartment and lifted out a wriggling white rabbit. “Wait till the young ones see that!” The elevator man was returning, so she hastily stuffed the bunny back in the wagon.

As the elevator rose leisurely, Cherry choked with laughter. “It’s a lovely idea, Lucy, but what will the head nurse say?” She knew she should say more. She should, especially as a senior nurse, either forbid Lucy to take the rabbit on the ward or warn the head nurse. Cherry
6

C H E R R Y A M E S , S E N I O R N U R S E

could not do it. She knew she was not even going to tell her side-kick Ann Evans about it, for Ann was conscientious enough to shoo Lucy and her rabbit away. “I’m a senior now, I mustn’t indulge in monkey business,” Cherry thought. But visions of the rabbit leading the doctors and nurses a merry chase convulsed her as she entered the new ward.

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