Me in the Middle of Memories ~ Candy Stripers

Candy Stripers

Teenage girls in the 50’s, who were thinking about becoming nurses, could volunteer at the hospital as a Candy Striper.  I came across my service badge ~ Holy Name Hospital (Our Lady’s Service).  It sparked a lot of memories for me …….. so long ago …….. and so many changes since then.
Badge Candy Striper 1950s

Photo by mlq

I remember well the day that I received the badge!  We were all gathered in the auditorium at Holy Name for the Service Ceremony …….. and Pat Boone, the 50’s pop singer, gave each of us our badge and a rose.  He and his family lived in Teaneck where the hospital was located.  We all wore pink and white striped pinafores which is where the name Candy Striper came from.

Pat Boone ~ April Love

(I was a Rick Nelson fan, myself.  😉 )


The responsibilities I was given as a volunteer included sterilizing the baby bottles in the autoclave,and cleaning the circumcision boards and baby bassinets after each use.  I would string the alphabet beads on elastic cord to make the ID bracelets for mother and baby.  The Maternity Ward was a happy place for a fifteen-year-old Candy Striper as she went about refilling water pitchers with fresh water and delivering flowers and mail to the new moms.  More than any hope of becoming a nurse, I dreamed of one day holding my own newborn.

Maternity Ward Candy Striper

*Images by Pixabay*

16 thoughts on “Me in the Middle of Memories ~ Candy Stripers

  1. Last I knew they still had candy stripers, Mary Lou, but I haven’t worked in a hospital setting for well over 10 years, so I’m not sure. I do remember them when I was working as a nurse on the surgical floor – I never knew exactly what they did, but remember them passing out mail and flowers. It was lovely to have the young ones around us helping the patients. #MLSTL.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely job for a 15 year old Mary Lou. Interesting that motherhood was more important to you than a career – things have certainly changed in the ways 15 year olds think these days! And cleaning circumcision boards is definitely a thing of the past – thank goodness!
    MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a lot of responsibility for a 15 yo Leanne. We were allowed to wheel the baby carts out to the mothers too which I don’t thing would be the case today. Believe it or not, I just googled circumcision boards and they still use them! I didn’t like them then and I don’t like them now! Thanks for sharing!


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