Nursing a Pandemic: Leading Through Covid-19

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

8th April 2021 | 5:30PM

Join us for the 4th event in our series recording the nursing experience of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.

We are living in historic times. Since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in 11 March 2020, nursing staff have performed a huge range of vital roles in the COVID-19 response in the UK and beyond. Now is the time to go beyond the “clap for carers” and better understand what life during the pandemic has been like for nursing staff in different situations and contexts. From first responders and nursing leaders to staff working in care homes and the nursing students who stepped up from their degrees to support the NHS, this series marks the ongoing impact of the pandemic on nursing and nurses.

Each virtual event takes the form of two live interviews with nursing and healthcare staff and students, followed by a Q&A. The interviews will be recorded and added to the RCN archive, making sure these nursing experiences are recorded for posterity.

Leading through COVID-19

In the 4th event, we will hear from two nurses in leadership roles. The interviewer is Estephanie Dunn, RCN Regional Director, North West Region.

• Trish Armstrong-Child, a registered general nurse, is Chief Executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

• 2nd interviewee TBC

This event is open to all, and will take place online. Please register via this link to attend: The link to join will be circulated in advance.

For any queries about this event please contact
Royal College of Nursing Library & Archives 0345 337 3368

Constructing the Chamber of Sleep: Emotions and Early Anaesthesia

Anaesthesia Heritage Centre

15th April 2021 | 6:00PM

We’ll explore whether the advent of anaesthesia in 1846 transformed surgical practices and how the management of pain has evolved since.

About this Event

This is a joint talk between the Anaesthesia Heritage Centre and the Surgery and Emotion project. It is the fourth in a series commemorating the 75th year of Anaesthesia, the journal of the Association of Anaesthetists.

In his talk entitled, Constructing the Chamber of Sleep: Emotions and Early Anaesthesia, Dr Michael Brown seeks to challenge the notion that the advent of anaesthesia in 1846 brought about a sudden transformation in surgical practice and that the once writhing, screaming patient of the pre-anaesthetic era was rendered completely silent by the administration of ether. Rather, he reveals that the early application of anaesthesia elicited a range of strange phenomena from the patient, including flinching, talking and even singing, and that the image of anaesthesia as a form of painless oblivion was one that had to be crafted by Victorian surgeons.

We will then hear from Dr Douglas Justins who reflects on the development of pain management. A greater understanding of the neurobiology of pain combined with major clinical advances improved the management of all forms of pain. From the 1965 ‘Gate Theory of Pain’, to an article published in Anaesthesia in 1976 describing the measurement of pain, there were important milestones in the development of pain management services.


About the speakers

Dr Douglas Justins (Anaesthesia Heritage Centre)

Douglas is a retired Consultant in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine, St Thomas’ Hospital, London. He currently holds the role of Chairman of the Senior Fellows and Members Club, Royal College of Anaesthetists and is a volunteer with the Association of Anaesthetists Heritage Centre. Dr Justins is also the Honorary Medical Officer for the cross country running club, Thames Hare & Hounds.

Dr Justins’ previous roles have included, Vice President at the Royal College of Anaesthetists, Founding Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine at the Royal College of Anaesthetists, President of the British Pain Society and Trustee and Treasurer of NCEPOD.

He is the co-author of the book, First Aid at Sea, (Justins and Berry), 8th edition in preparation.


Dr Michael Brown (Principal Investigator on the Surgery & Emotion project)

Michael is Reader in History in the Department of Humanities at the University of Roehampton and Principal Investigator on the Surgery & Emotion project. He has written extensively on the history of medical identity, performance and self-representation as well as gender, war and militarism in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is the author of the book, Performing Medicine: Medical Culture and Identity in Provincial England, c.1760-1850 and co-editor of Martial Masculinities: Experiencing and Imagining the Military in the Long Nineteenth Century. He is currently completing a book on emotion and the cultures of Romantic surgery for Cambridge University Press.


Joining Details

This session will be held on Zoom. You will be emailed the joining details the day before the event.

Nurses That Roared: From Suffrage to Civil and Patient Rights

Royal College of Nursing Library & Heritage Centre

23rd April 2021 | 5:30PM

Julie Attenborough and Lisa Reynolds share the stories of nurses who have challenged the status quo throughout history.

Throughout history, nurses have raged and roared, disrupting the status quo and challenging established norms. In this talk Julie Attenborough and Lisa Reynolds fill some of the gaps in the popular history of nursing, from which nurses whose images do not fit a standard mould have been omitted or adapted.

We will hear about Catherine Pine, who was deeply involved in the suffrage movement in the early twentieth century, Mabel Staupers who campaigned for the inclusion of Black nurses in the US Army and Navy during World War II and mental health nursing pioneer Annie Altschul, who fought for the rights of marginalised patients. Find out about the collective bravery of those nurses who, through their practice, challenged injustice, disrupted established gender and race roles and took charge of their own futures.

Dr Lisa Reynolds

Lisa is a mental health nurse. She is currently Head of the School of Nursing and Allied Health at Bucks New University, honorary nurse consultant at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur. Her research interests are in nurse education, risk assessment, and innovative approaches in using technology to support learning.

Julie Attenborough

Julie is a mental health nurse. She is currently Associate Professor and Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions at the School of Health Sciences, City, University of London. Julie’s research interests are in professional identity in nursing, work-based learning, and the use of storytelling in healthcare education.

Please register via this link to attend:

A link will be circulated in advance with instructions on how to join the event. All tickets must be booked individually.

Image: Catherine Pine nursing Emmeline Pankhurst, 1913. Credit: LSE Library

For any queries about this event please contact
RCN Libraries 0345 337 3368