A Heroic Service? An Oral History of District Nursing in the Outer Hebrides from 1940-1974

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Catherine Morrison


The study is an oral history of the work of district nurses in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland from 1940-1974.The main themes that emerged from the study were, the wide scope of the nurses' practice, their significant relationships, and the unique nature of their role. Within the themes were concepts of self sacrifice, resilience and autonomy. The challenges the nurses faced in their daily lives from their surrounding environment and the urgent needs of patients were physically and mentally taxing. There was evidence of their resilience and strength of character when they did not flinch in difficult situations.Yet they described being 'happy at work' and relied on their faith. The study suggests that the service these women provided could be regarded as 'heroic'. The thesis offers an insight into the daily lives of district nurses in a remote part of Scotland which has never been studied before. Most nurses were trained Queen's Nurses which was evidently influential and to some a prestigious qualification.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2014