Film: 6414

Medicine | 1950 | Sound | B/W


This is an educational training film made for the Ministry of Health used to justify Nurses having to relearn a common procedure with antibiotics 1950's

Opens with a full-face shot of a Nurse (wearing appropriate uniform and smiling benignly). Cut to her hands preparing a hypodermic needle. Various basins and surgical looking implements adorn the table. Narrator - tells of usual procedure for penicillin or streptomycin injections, eg sterile conditions etc… Full shot of the Nurse bending over the table. Camera swings to the right to reveal a patient ( a late middle aged woman) lying in bed. Beside her on the left, are personal effects on a cabinet. It becomes apparent that this is a home visit. Narrator tells of differing levels of sensitivity to the drugs, and the possible side-effects to be noted. The Nurse pours a kettleful of water into a small, white basin and approaches the patient. She exposes the patient's right arm and wraps a towel loosely around it. Cut to Nurse's hands- she is washing them in a large enamel basin. Narrator - the Nurse puts herself in unnecessary and potentially harmful contact with the bacteria. See tray containing a dish of hypodermic equipment, two metal jugs, a small enamel basin and a phial of antibiotic drug. The Nurse begins to assemble the syringe. Narrator warns that she has used an old needle. Also informs us that there is special fluorescent material in the phial instead of the usual drug. The Nurse pierces the top of the small bottle and draws the fluorescent liquid into the syringe (seen as a close-up of her hands). The Nurse changes the needle on the syringe. As the narrator warns of the possibility of leakage at this point, the light becomes ultra-violet and the fluorescent liquid glows on several spots on her fingers. There is a brief pause. The Nurse (hands still in close-up) expels the bubble of air from the syringe. We see more fluorescent droplets land on her fingers Full shot of Nurse bending down next to her patient. Ultra-violet light reveals luminous spots on her face. The Nurse completes the injection and stands. Close-up of her hands rinsing the syringe in boiling water in the small basin. She then wraps the hypodermic kit in a cloth and discards the water. Nurse washes her hands in the same large basin as previously. The Nurse exchanges pleasantries with the patient (not heard). Narrator - Nurse still has traces of the drug on her skin. Lighting changes to show fluorescent spots. Nurse turns to leave. Fade out. Cut to a hospital ward. Five occupied beds are lined up along the left of the frame. Four nurses attend to their duties. Narrator - what is the risk to medical staff from giving injections? Narrator - tolerance to a drug should not depend on previous contamination, but sensitivity can be unpredictable. Nurse (different to first) injects a small boy. See another nurse's hands holding him still. Two nurses (one is Sister Trace) enter an office where a Doctor is already seated. Sister Trace takes a seat and the other nurse closes the door. Close-up on Sister Trace's face. She has developed dermatitis around her eyes and on her hands, presumably due to the large number of antibiotic injections she gives while on duty on the TB ward. Close-up of her hands. Doctor looks at her skin and takes notes. Doctor ( a specialist) seen pulling a patch-test swab from Sister Trace's back. She is seen from behind, wearing a hospital gown. Another nurse attends behind them. Close-up of the inflamed patch of skin on Sister Trace's back. Narrator confirms that she is allergic to streptomycin. Doctor swabs patch with cotton wool and tweezers. Cut to Doctor Mansell, standing in a room and reading a book. A nurse approaches him. He has dermatitis on hid face, hands and arms. Close-up on his scabby arms. Specialist Doctor and Sister Trace join him and stand talking (not heard). Narrator - they need to know if they can continue to give injections. Close-up on each of them in turn. Narrator- no one is sure how de-sensitisation works, so precautions are necessary in the first instance. Fade to what appears to be a classroom. Several nurses are seated around a table watching a senior nurse demonstrating a new and safer method of preparing the injection. One of the junior nurses is ethnic, possibly Asian (unusual for 1954?). Narrator - are two needles really necessary? Close-up of senior Nurse's hands. She repeatedly stabs a rubber ball to demonstrate that puncturing the rubber cap of the phial would not blunt the needle. Cut to three of the students watching. Back to Nurse's hands and the rubber ball - "she keeps it up for nearly a hundred punctures" . Senior Nurse examines the needle point under a microscope. Cut to magnified needle tip - it hasn't been blunted. Then see a brand new needle magnified to compare, there is almost no difference between the two. Cut to Tutor Nurse who is washing her hands at a sink. She dries her hands, turning back to her class as she does so. Narrator - she will repeat the experiment using the same ultra-violet material. Nurse uncovers a tray of equipment. Cut to her hands. She puts on dark-coloured rubber gloves. She assembles the syringe using forceps. She swabs the top of the phial, also using large tweezers. She picks up the phial and draws the liquid into the hypodermic syringe. Narrator - the bubble of air is expelled back into the bottle. Extreme close-up of the Nurse's fingers as she withdraws the needle from the bottle. Ultra-violet light does not reveal any spillages on her face and only slight markings on her gloved hands. Cut to original Nurse watching the tutor intently. Tutor expels the fluorescent liquid back into the phial (in lieu of a real injection). See Nurse's hands taking the equipment to the sink. She washes the syringe and needle in running water, then washes her hands, gloved and ungloved. She turns to her students and smiles. Narrator recaps the new safety procedures. Two students watching the tutor. Tutor dries her hands and addresses the class. Narrator - they must now try the new method for themselves. Tutor distributes some kidney trays filled with the equipment. Two students bent over their work. Pan around the class to see all the nurses in various stages of preparation. Original Nurse completes the filling of the syringe and smiles. The End.

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