Bertha Moses

Bertha Moses,
Transcript Section 2

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BERTHA:  Then -- then our next missionaries were -- she was a nurse again, and her name was Dorothy Mendehlsson, and Father Mendehlsson, Father Randy Mendehlsson was her husband. 

And they -- they -- they left for a few days and gave me the key to the Mission, told me to keep the -- keep the place warm.  And while they were gone, one of my nephews got hurt and he got his leg cut on the sled -- sled runner, sled brake or something.  About six-inch cut.  And his mother want me to go see him, so I went down. 

And I was going to put butterfly stitches and she said that wouldn't hold.  She said that I should use needle and thread. 

So I went to the Mission again and I remembered those needle, but I didn't know how to -- we need to use needle holder at that time. 

So I washed it as good as I could and suture it.  And my nephew always said I used straight green soap that time, and it really hurt.  But I didn't -- I didn't know any better, I guess I was -- I was really scared.
He didn't have to go to the Tanana Hospital then, or anyplace.  He healed up right here. 

MARLA:  And that was before you had any real --

BERTHA:  Yes. 

MARLA:  -- any training or --

BERTHA:  Yes.  That's before I had any training.  And also that -- when any of my sisters are having babies, neighbors, they always called me for the -- the midwife's assistant or the nurse's assistant.  So I learned about delivery, that when I was really young, too. 

And then in 1950 -- 50 -- I think it was 1958, the Public Health nurse come over.  Before that, the Public Health nurse used to come about once a year or -- once a year about and she was here.  Start the children in their immunizations, but never -- never -- never finished. 

And -- and then before that, too, in one of their trips they taught me how to do injection, to give shots.  And I learned all that before -- before I had any training. 

Then the Public Health nurse come in 1958 in about February, I think, and they asked me if I would like to volunteer and be the health -- they called us nurse's aides that time.  And so I said, okay, not -- not thinking it would be a long, long, long time before I ever get out of it. 

And then I said, okay.  I guess I can run -- I guess at that time I volunteer for anything when somebody asks me.  And so she start training us in our -- in our home, in my home. 

I had -- I had five or six children then.  They had to be really quiet and they were quiet when we were just training how to give injection, we would practice in an orange and sometime in a towel with a syringe and water.