I’ve been watching a BBC show called Call the Midwife which is supposedly all the rage over in the UK and I can definitely see why. It’s about a midwife named Jenny Lee who arrives in a poor East London town in the 1950’s. She lives at Nonnatus House which doubles as midwife HQ and convent. You don’t know much about Jenny’s past but you find out pretty quickly that the grimy streets of poverty-stricken London is not her scene — at least not at first. Together, the nurses and nun-nurses deliver baby after baby after baby in people’s homes.
Watching Call the Midwife has made me very grateful for things we mostly take for granted, namely cellphones, housing regulations and birth control. But not everything is so different. For one, nurses still provide care in people’s home today. I work in the marketing department of an organization that specializes in community nursing — which, these days, is more likely to be about caring for seniors rather than delivering babies.
Medical practices have changed but the basic principles are very much the same. It’s still about nurses visiting homes as strangers and leaving as friends. Nurses that know that most healing takes place outside of a hospital. It’s not all happy endings on Call the Midwife but I’ve seen with my own eyes that community nurses (and personal support workers) still do great work.