Tiny Pineapple

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Finding Dr. Right

by Lisa B. Kamps (2007)
Finding Dr. Right

“When Will You Take A Chance?”

It was a question Catherine Wilson had asked herself–when would she stop worrying about her son and start focusing on life?

The truth was she was scared her son would relapse; scared she had forgotten how to live; scared the emotions one particular man brought to life would lead to heartbreak.

Catherine wanted to be brave. And accepting Nathan Conners into her family’s life was one of the toughest decisions she had to make. Because if she wasn’t careful, Nathan would not only make Catherine believe in herself again…but also in love…

This is another one of Emma’s thrift store finds. Published this year, no less. She was worried that it might not qualify for the Tiny Pineapple Nurse Book Collection since the main female character is a doctor, not a nurse. But I pointed out that we have a number of other titles in the collection that feature female characters who, while not strictly nurses, have still found rewarding and romance-conducive careers in the health care industry.

It’s just that the “Tiny Pineapple Collection of Books Featuring Female Characters With Various Rewarding and Romance-Conducive Careers in the Health Care Industry” seems a little wordy.

First Woman Ambulance Surgeon: Emily Barringer

by Iris Noble (1962)
First Woman Ambulance Surgeon: Emily Barringer

Eight-year-old Emily crouched on the broad stairway just below the second floor landing. From there she could peer over that top step and look down the hallway to Mama’s bedroom. As the door opened or closed, as the nurse darted in and out, there was a thin, wavering streak of lamplight which lighted up the hall carpet or filtered into dim shadows as the door half closed again. Sounds came from behind it — a stifled cry, now and then, from Mama, or the rustle of the nurse’s skirts, or a few soft words in Lil’s Irish brogue.

Most important of all, it seemed to Emily, was the deeper, heavier voice of Dr. Burchard. When he spoke, things happened. The nurse would say “Yes, Doctor” or Lil would come flying out and run downstairs to the kitchen for kettles of hot water.

What was happening? It was all very strange. It was frightening, because Mama was sick. That much Emily knew.

Lil was their old nursemaid, yet she had seen Emily on the steps and said nothing about bedtime. No one had paid any attention to the younger children either, and for the first time in her small life Emily had done a grownup’s job. An hour ago she had seen to it that Margaret and Amy and Harry had brushed their teeth and said their prayers and were safe in bed. She looked for Will, her older brother, but couldn’t find him; she was lonely and frightened and couldn’t sleep — and the stairway was as close as she dared come to Mama.

An instinct told her that she would not be allowed in Mama’s bedroom, but an even stronger instinct kept her where she was, within sight and hearing.

The doorbell sounded down below. Emily waited a second for a maid to answer it before she remembered that there were no maids or butler any more, only Lil upstairs and Cook down in the kitchen. Lil came hurrying past her, went down and opened the door to admit another man in a dark frock coat and a big, soft leather bag.

“I’m Dr. William Lusk,” she heard him say. “Dr. Burchard is expecting me. I understand it’s a difficult birth and he thinks I may have to operate.” He was following Lil up the steps as he spoke and Lil was answering: “Yes, Doctor, yes. Ah, the poor darling — my poor, beautiful mistress.”

He went into the bedroom, too, and now the door was closed tightly and there was no lamplight at all in the hallway. Still Emily stayed where she was. Perhaps she dozed a little because she was suddenly startled to find Lil bending over her, shaking her and saying:

“Emily! Child, would you be after helping me this once?” Her voice held it usual kindness but she wasn’t smiling. “I do need you. I can’t be leaving them upstairs, with the doctors wanting something from me every blessed minute. And it’s fearful I am of leaving your mother. She’s quieter, someways, when I’m in the room.”

“What do you want me to do?” asked Emily. “Let me do something.”

The middle-aged woman, who had been nursemaid as long as Emily could remember, handed her the slip of paper. “I want you to go down the street to Haas’s pharmacy and ask them to give you these medicines written on the piece of paper. Do hurry, there’s a dear child. The doctors are wanting these special like.” She stooped and kissed the soft, babyish cheek and walked away with quick steps to Mama’s bedroom.

“But — Lil –” Emily was so astounded she could not believe it. She had always been a very protected and sheltered little girl. She never was allowed to go anywhere on her own.

“Hurry, child!” the nursemaid called over her shoulder.

First Year Nurse

by Diane Frazer (1964)
First Year Nurse

“You’re leaving us, Dr. Troy?”

Taffy closed her eyes and took a deep breath.. “You let me know if there’s an opening in your hospital, Doctor.”

Dr. Troy stared at her. It was the stare of a boy seeing all the toys he had wanted under the Christmas tree. There was a silence that seemed to last forever.

“No need to check,” he said hoarsely. “I know there’s an opening.”

“Is there?” she said, and looked directly into his brown eyes.

What happened next was completely her doing. It wasn’t possible that she had put her arms up to his shoulders and put her mouth on his. It wasn’t possible. But there she was in his arms, which had promptly wrapped themselves around her, as if he’d been waiting for her to do exactly that. And maybe he had been waiting, waiting a long time.

Flight Nurse

by Nell M. Dean (1963)
Flight Nurse

Rhonda Sterling — First Lieutenant Rhonda Sterling — straight and slim in her tan uniform, jaunty cap and immaculate white gloves, stepped with military bearing from the United Airliner at the Sacramento Airport. Her spirits were high for it was a day to be excited. At last she was reporting for duty at her first base hospital, McClellan Air Force Base, in California, to begin her career as an Air Force nurse.

Walking from the aircraft, she was unmindful of eyes focused admiringly on her. She knew that the trim uniform which she wore with such great pride complemented her raven black hair, her dark eyes. And that the silver bar on each shoulder, signifying her rank, was as lovely as a jewel.

As she came abreast of the gate she saw another girl about her own age in an Air Force uniform waving to attract her attention. She waved back, smiled, wondering if she should salute as she had been taught at training school at Gunter Air Force Base in Alabama, from which she had departed only five hours ago.

The girl, a blonde and quite pretty, threaded her way through the little group of people. “You must be Lieutenant Sterling!”

“Yes, I’m Rhonda Sterling.”

“I’m Kay O’Dell,” she replied warmly, grasping her hand. “Major Bartlett, the chief nurse, asked me to meet you.”

“Oh, how terribly nice,” Rhonda said, realizing as they shook hands a salute would have been out of place in such an informal atmosphere.

“No cab for a new recruit at this base,” Lieutenant O’Dell said and pointed to the parking area. “See! A staff car, no less. If you’ll give me your baggage ticket, I’ll have the driver pick up your gear.”

Rhonda retrieved it from the purse that hung from her left shoulder, and Lieutenant O’Dell handed it to the uniformed airman waiting at the fringe of the crowd. “Airman Brown,” she ordered politely, “will you please get Lieutenant Sterling’s hand luggage at the claim station?”

“Yes, ma’am.” The young airman jauntily saluted the two nurses. Rhonda wondered if she would ever get used to being saluted.

Florida Nurse

by Peggy Dern (1961)
Florida Nurse

She was dedicated to helping the helpless…but could she heal the break in her own heart?

The daughter of a doctor, Leona Gregory had known since earliest childhood that she wanted to be a nurse. She had always thought that that would mean working with her father. But now that Dr. Gregory had married a young wife, Leona felt out of place in the household.

The young R.N. gratefully accepted a position in a hospital in Cypress City on the Gulf Coast, even though she was afraid it would cut her off from everything she had known. Meeting the cold, beautiful supervisor of nurses, Paula Ingram, and the stern disciplinarian, Dr. Foster, who headed the hospital, seemed to confirm her fears. But Leona also found an opportunity for service she could not have had elsewhere. Then too, there was the handsome, charming senior intern, Cole Jordan…and, working with him, Leona began to feel that her heart night find wings again.