(CL’74) Mary Lee – Training Days – A Poem

Training Days at HSC – A Poem – Mary Lee (Toole) Hunter – Class of 1974

For the 100th Anniversary of the Alumnae Association in 2003 and for a class Reunion, Marylee wrote the following poem to reflect on her time at HSC.

It’s almost thirty years ago
When my last name was Toole
I packed up Little Miss Weekender
And headed off to nursing school.

The Sick Kids Hospital Residence
Would soon be home to me.
So young, naïve and foolish
I thought that I was free.

A thought that soon would leave my mind
When Big Sisters filled with spite,
Used pots and pans to wake us,
In the middle of the night!

They taught us to swing bedpans,
To swing them to and fro,
Down corridors and hallways
And even main streets of T.O.

Clad in diapers only.
Goodbye to inhibitions,
Nothing would stop Big Sisters
From carrying on Sick Kids traditions.

Traditions were not merely
Drinking, fun and games.
Many nights we hit the books,
Not wanting to tarnish Sick Kids’ name.

Not only with the theory,
Did we study long and hard,
But clinical came early,
First week out on the wards.

We took pride in knowing Sick Kids
Got its students quickly to the floors.
Early clinical training
Is what made our skills so strong.

We learned early to do TPRs
And also do BPs
But a skill we wanted to avoid
Was the dreaded SSE!

Just because our pin said Sick Kids,
Didn’t mean we all would stay.
We could choose ANY nursing environment
After our thorough training days.

Whether we still are working,
Within Sick Kids walls or not,
Our memories of training
Are embedded in our hearts.