New children’s book illustrates life as a community nurse

Catherine Bartholomew has written, designed, and published a children’s book called ‘Little Nurse and Bag’, which helped her to be creative and relieve stress during lockdown.

The beautifully illustrated book follows ‘Little Nurse’ and her magical companion, ‘Bag’, on their patient visits in the community. ‘Bag’ is a personified character who holds the tools she needs to help her patients.

At one of Little Nurse and Bag’s visits in the story, they meet ‘Mrs Scratchy’ who was confused and scared. Bag gave Little Nurse a love heart to give to Mrs Scratchy, and it helped to clear her thoughts. Little Nurse and Mrs Scratchy then looked at one of her photo albums and danced to her favourite music.

The book not only illustrates the day in the life of a community nurse, in this example, it also gives children an insight into how to potentially help or understand someone – perhaps a grandparent – living with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

The artwork took approximately seven months to complete, but the ideas and inspiration behind the story had been developing long before lockdown. Catherine said that she was initially inspired by the proportion of patients she visited who had dementia, and creating characters and a story was a creative way that she could express herself.

Catherine explains:

“As a community nurse, you have the clinical skills and knowledge, but there’s so much more that you need. Many more tools in your bag.

“I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to have a sounding board and a bag of ideas when I’m out in the community and working on my own”.

Catherine was previously a graphic designer before she became a nurse, and she is currently a Care Home Matron in Greater Wealden.

‘Little Nurse and Bag’ is suitable for children aged approximately between five and seven years, and it is available to purchase on Amazon.

Sussex Community NHS

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