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Thread: School nurse or Healer?

  1. #1
    Kate Skeffington

    School nurse or Healer?


    Is Madam Pomfrey an actual Healer? In the books she is quoted as the school nurse is that the same as being a healer? If so, Would Madam Pomfrey be able to care for St Mungo's patients? Or is it like in the muggle world, where there are nurses and doctors (equivalent of healers?) and they do different tasks. Would the studies/trainment be the same for a Healer and a Nurse?

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Hm. That's a really good question. I've always assumed that she is a Healer, mostly because they never make any mention of nurses at St. Mungos, not that I can recall at least. She might have called her a nurse just because she was working in a school...
    But I've honestly never thought about it before. I think it would be safe to say that she was a nurse instead of a Healer. Now that this has been brought to my attention, I think I would classify her as a nurse, separate from a Healer.
    If there were differences between nurses/healers, then I would say that there would be a different course that nurses would have to take. They could probably do a lot of the same treatments that Healers do, but they might not have the skills to come up with antidotes and such. Hope this helps..interesting questions!!!!

  3. #3
    I think in the wizarding world, Healers would be the equivilent as doctors and nurses, (there really isn't a big difference to me,) because, think about it, they heal people with magical aliments, as doctors in the real world, 'heal' you with pills and such.

    Plus, a Healer seems like a very complicated job, and would require a lot of studying. This studying period may be the eqivlient of spending eight years in collage trying to get your doctorate degree. That sparks another intresting question; would you have training for your career outside of Hogwarts? There must be a certain course you must go through before beginning your career. I'm sorry, that's a little bit too off-topic, I'll carry on...

    Anyways, I think Madame Pomfrey is somewhat like a school nurse, only a bit more trained. School nurses (at least not any that I've heard of) have to deal with students who have explosive warts on their face every day, do they? That said, I think that Madame Pomfrey could work with St. Mungos patients, but only to a certain limit.

    I hope this helped!

  4. #4
    Magik 13
    I would imagine Madam Pomfrey would have a limit to her healing abilities and so I'd class her as just a Nurse, not quite a Healer. Obviously she would still have to be talented in that area of magic as I imagine she has a lot to cope with; she's not the average school nurse handling a grazed knee, she'd have more challenges with what the students at Hogwarts get up to. But for more serious inguries I expect they would have to send the patient to St Mungos (they sent McGonagall there at one point didn't they?). But she may just be like any other wizard in that she is better at some aspects of magic than others so maybe that's why she turned her talents towards becoming a nurse. Who knows. She could probably handle things for a while but it depends on the extent of the injury.

    So I imagine she wouldn't have quite the same qualifications as an actual Healer, perhaps a similar knowledge but to a lesser extent of quallified Healers.

  5. #5
    I feel like I can answer this question pretty well, coming from a line of three generations of nurses.

    What everyone has been saying about the differences between doctors and nurses is that they are very similar, which is not entirely the case. doctors do not do a lot of actual caring for patients, they simply examine and diagnose problems, as well as write prescriptions. Nurses do most of the work, and they do the charting for the doctors.

    I think there is a difference between nurses and healers, however, and I am pretty sure it is close to the difference between nurses and doctors. From what we've seen in the books, i think it would be safe to say that Madame Pomfrey is a nurse, not a healer.

    Hope this helps!


  6. #6
    Kate Skeffington
    Oh, yes this helped very much

    Do you think it's safe to say that if a character doesn't finish her entire healer training she could work as a nurse in St Mungo's? I think, even if they are not mentioned in canon, there must be some kind of nurses in St Mungo's to, as Mahogany wand said, care for patients. Where I come from (Chile) there two kinds of nurses, the ones who go to college and have a degree and the ones that have only taken courses and such.

    One of my characters is becoming a Healer after Hogwarts but for a series of unfortunate events (heheh..loved that movie) she won't be able to fulfill her trainment (unless it's a short trainment, which I doubt). I still need her to work on something, so maybe a St Mungo's nurse? She would still have some qualifications but not the full Healer trainning. Do you think it's believable or completely impossible?

  7. #7
    Maybe it's not so much an official difference between a Healer that works at St. Mungo's and one who works at Hogwarts, but people know there is a difference. A Healer who was trained at St. Mungos would certainly be trained to handle much more serious diseases and illnesses than one who was trained at Hogwarts. Maybe it's not so much official titals and degrees, but where it is you learn your trade that makes all the difference in your career; probably a big reason why N.E.W.T. scores are so important.

    Which brings up another pondering I had the other day. There don't seem to be any wizarding universities, so how do Healers learn their trade. Is there more of an apprentice system? Do they go through the same level system that Muggle doctors do (intern, resident, attending), or do they just have an apprenticeship and then become a full-fledge Healer?

    What do the rest of you think?

  8. #8
    I think apprenticeship is the most likely explanation. Though it might be that wizards with an interest in healing just study healing magic and then apply for a job.

    Maybe there are post-NEWT tests for some jobs. E.g., a wizarding equivalent of a bar exam or board certification. If you pass, you're qualified to work as a Healer, whether you've been formally apprenticed or not. But I'd assume most wizards with an interest in that career would learn from a more experienced wizard before taking the test.

  9. #9
    I actually just read an article that refers to Madam Pomfrey as a 'Mediwitch'

    Pomfrey - magical medical expert
    Madam Poppy Pomfrey is a certified mediwitch and magical medical expert. She's spent much of her life attempting to create a one-time cure-all potion. She says the potion is coming along quite well, and would be finished already if she could find a decent hour to work on it without having to regrow bones and reverse schoolyard curses that have gone awry. Madame Pomfrey accepted a position at Hogwarts after much pleading on the part of the previous headmaster.
    Maybe a Mediwitch is the equivilant of a nurse or a parametic, just a lower level of Healer. Or is a Mediwitch just another term for someone who works in the healthcare field in the wizarding world?

  10. #10
    Ok. I read like half of these and then skimmed through the rest.

    To me, it's not whether she's trained enough to work at St. Mungos or not. It's more like she didn't want to.

    The one thing that I notice no one mention was the big bad wolf of Gryffindor. Ok, that was a bit cheesey. I'm talking about Remus Lupin. Remember him? The werewolf that was allowed to come to Hogwarts. If Pomfrey isn't qualified enough to work at St. Mungos then why was she qualified enough to take care of a werewolf after the full moon?

    ~Allie (who is surprised no one mentioned Remus yet)

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