School Nurses - From Cod Liver Oil to Nits!

Remember your school nurse or did you always have to call her matron?

For many, the school nurse or matron was normally the headmaster's wife who looked after cuts and bumps and bruises as well as administering cod liver oil. 

Can you still recall your school nurse - let us know your memories in the comments section below. 

Do you remember the nit nurse? Does the thought of the nit comb bring a tear to your eye?

Nitty Nora the Bug Explorer was phased out in the 90s, but there have been a lot of petitions to bring her back since.

Every so often, Nora would visit your primary school, wearing her white lab coat and stretching her fingers in preparation for a long day of searching for a head lice infestation.  

Followers of the Spring Chicken Facebook Group have been sharing their itchy memories:

I always had long, thick hair, so it was horrendous.

My mum used the nit comb on me and my brother every Friday night. If we had friends sleeping, they'd get checked too!

I hated 'Nitty Nora the hair explorer' coming to do our hair. The worst bit was at the end of the school day, when the teacher would hand out a note to some children for their parents. We all knew what that meant...

  Younger girls with perfectly neat plaits would dread having their hair checked. Of course, this meant that their hair bobbles were taken out first and they would wander around the rest of the day with a tangled mess on their head!

Once the teacher had handed out the notes to inform parents that there was a lice outbreak, children avoided close contact with one another for a week and avoided sharing hats and brushes.

Did your mum try to comfort you by saying they only go for clean hair?

Can you still smell the foul shampoo?

Header Image - School Matron

Images - Marjory Collins Matron with 2 boys

Image - Matron with 3 pupils

Childhood memoriesMemoriesMemory laneNostalgiaVintage


Patricia Di Blasio

I remember lining up in my knickers and singlet awaiting the school nurses visit, she put this large packet of jelly like substance and stuck it between my shoulder blades, it had to stay on until her next visit then she removed it, does anyone know what this was for. I was around 7 years old at the time the year would be around 1960

Elaine Johnson

I was a school nurse for 33 years best job in the world more to it than nits

Roseanne Griggs

I was a school nurse for 32 year. Fully qualified general nurse with Extra qualifications in child development , sexual health, mental health and keeping yourself safe,phone contact for the pupils and advise on all health matters for the parents, not to mention the extensive vaccination programmes we carried out. Head lice was a very small part of our roll and not routinely done these days as ineffective if just 1 pupil is absent from the class.

Kathleen veitch

I was a school nurse in the 1970s. The head nursed used to always say the children’s whose parents got the most notes used to paper the walls with them.
I didn’t like checking the 6ft secondary school children.

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