Joan Woodcock always dreamed of becoming a nurse. And in 1966 the dream came true. From her very first day as a naive sixteen-year-old cadet, standing nervously outside Matron's office, this is Joan's story of an eventful career spanning forty years in the NHS. Working on hospital wards, casualty units and out in the community, as well as stints in a prison and a police unit dealing with sexual assault, Joan has seen it all. In this moving memoir she gives an honest, revealing account of a challenging, unpredictable and ultimately rewarding life in nursing. From an early encounter with a horrific axe injury, to the patient who swallowed their suppositories, to daily dealings with difficult patients and all kinds of bodily fluids, Joan shares memories of laughter and tragedy, and of the now defunct matron system that at one time instilled nurses with such high standards of professionalism and patient care.