Nursing Voices

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Detective Nurse

Look at that poor nurse. She looks like she’s in distress. The doctor is tucking the patient into bed while the nurse is wondering if she has chosen the right career. When nurses leave the profession, they take nursing skills with them that can be easily utilized in a new career. I’m convinced that nurses naturally make great private investigators. Look at this news story brought to my attention by my blogging buddy, the Curmudgeon at Second Effort. The story is about a 50 year old woman who was admitted to a hospital with complaints of severe weakness and difficulty breathing. The patient was in critical condition and no one could figure out why. Then a nurse with a very good sense of smell noticed the patient’s hair smelled like garlic. That’s not a popular scent for a shampoo. The health care team saved the woman’s life after they figured out that the woman had accidentally shampooed her hair with organophosphate insecticide. Good work, Nurse.

Nurses have been showcased working as detectives in books and in comic strips throughout the years. Several nurses who left the profession to pursue successful writing careers have written books about nurse detectives. I’ll be sharing some of my nurse detective books with you over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy the posts.

My God, what is that nurse doing? No, she isn’t torturing a patient, she’s saving the world from spies, hoodlums, and evildoers. She is Myra North, Special Nurse. Myra was the creation of newspaper cartoonist, Charles Coll, and writer, Ray Thompson. Myra North, Special Nurse first appeared in newspapers on February 10, 1936, and was distributed by Newspaper Enterprise Association. The daily Myra North ended on March 25, 1939, and continued to appear in Sunday newspapers until August 31, 1941.

Of course, we all know that nurses are special, but Myra was an extra special nurse. She could give superb nursing care to her patients while solving crimes. Myra met all types of people at work including hypochondriacs, spies, and criminal masterminds, and she was an expert at tracking down murderers and jewel thieves. With the help of her boyfriend, Detective Sergeant, Jack Lane, Myra also was known to keep mad doctors from performing illicit experiments on their patients.

In 1938, the Whitman Publishing Company of Racine, Wisconsin published Myra North, Special Nurse and Foreign Spies.

Click here to read a few of the old Myra North, Special Nurse, comic strips.


Blogger jaz said...

...accidentally shampooed her hair with organophosphate insecticide?!?

1:56 PM  
Blogger Runs With Scissors said...

Ya gotta love "very special nursemaids"!


2:05 PM  
Blogger Mother Jones RN said...

Hi Jaz

The helpful neighbor accidentally gave her the bottle of insecticide. Apparently the shampoo bottle the neighbor thought she was lending out looked almost identical to the bottle of insecticide the woman used on her hair. It's that scary?


3:32 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

This week has been rather difficult in my company and so I've been frequently sighing while fantasizing about "what if" I'd chosen a different career. A detective would be good -- but all I could come up with was wishing that I'd been a Kilgore Rangerette---ah, that would be the life....

7:24 PM  
Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

Myra North, Special Nurse looks like she gives the kind of treatment we get in our hospitals in England.

2:49 PM  
Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

MJ -- thanks for the plug; glad to suggest a whole new line of posts for you.

Still more books!

Looking forward to it.

Happy New Year.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Clayton said...

I love these books! I think I may have undergone some form of imprinting in the fifth grade, when I discovered our school library had the complete Cherry Ames series (25 volumes!), beginning with "Cherry Ames, Student Nurse." Ever run into Cherry?

I'm not much of a commentator, but I really enjoy your blog. Thanks!

9:21 AM  
Anonymous lusann said...

it is wonderful finding you this evening. you go girl!
thanks so much and i look forward to your continued
opinions- you opinionated lady!!!!hahahahahha

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm...the woman ACCIDENTALLY shampooed her hair with insecticide? Was she blind? or had dementia?

12:03 AM  

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