'Nursing - What a Carry On!'

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The remarkable life story of a theatre nurse was presented to members of the Rotary Club of Dover when Marianne Slater of Guston described her 40-year journey as a nurse until she retired from full time employment in 2015 when at the time she was working as a theatre nurse at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Mrs Slater, who is well known locally within the Christian Community, is one of the Churchwardens at St Mary in Castro and is Secretary of Christians Together in Dover as well as being involved in other organisations and bodies such as the local Food Bank.

Coming from a medical and nursing family background after a brief period of employment with Lilley and Skinner she began her nursing career in 1979 when five out of six hospitals to where she had applied offered her a training post. She began at Westminster Hospital and her career took her to some thirteen hospitals in London and the Home Counties and some ten operating theatres. Much changed in the nursing vocation during her period as a nurse which began in the days of starched aprons and white hats for nurses and she admitted to some difficult times early on - when the Chelsea nail bomb went off she was on duty at Westminster hospital which took in sixty patients in just two hours through A & E and she was also on duty when the Hyde Park Bomb was detonated. From her vast experience in differing hospitals, in private and public sectors, she said she was only too well aware that “degrees do not make a good nurse” and over her years she was responsible for the organisation, or reorganisation, of practices and procedures in operating theatres and the training of nurses and doctors who worked in those environments.

Mrs Slater who married her husband David, Dover Port Chaplain, in 1983 holds a Diploma in Horticulture and devotes much of her retirement free time to her garden where she and her husband are self- sufficient in the provision of vegetables.