Nursing 1875

  1. i nearly put this in the "humour" section. please remember that this is an exact extract from a text written in 1875 and does not reflect the opinion of the poster.

    extract from domestic medicine and surgery by j. walsh 1875 frederick warne and company :london

    the nursing of adults in sickness requires something more than a mere attention to bodily wants, inasmuch as the patient is not at this age a mere machine; and it will be found that the recovery depends almost as much upon the sustainment of hope and the removal of fear from the mind, as upon the merely physical remedies, which are ordered by the person which undertakes the cure. indeed, it may be asserted, without fear of contradiction, that almost as much depends upon the nurse as the medical treatment;and unless there is someone well calculated to carry out the instructions of the medical man, it is hopeless to expect much benefit from them. some people are nurses by nature, and require no teaching; while others scarcely ever attain the proper mode of smoothing a pillow, or arranging the bed-clothes. cheerfulness and alacrity without boisterousness are the essentials to success, especially if united with that womanly sympathy with suffering which tends so much to soften the hours of pain or sickness. even the dress should be attended to, for invalids are captious and are inclined to find fault wherever there is an opening for criticism. the colours should be light and pleasing to the eye avoiding on the one hand those which are sombe and mournful, and on the other hand those which are decidedly gaudy. officiousness in nursing is disliked by most invalids; but in this respect there is great difficulty in hitting the happy medium, some people preferring to be left alone, and only wanting the aid of the nurse when they find the neccessity for it; while others who are, however, but a small minority, are best pleased when they are constantly being asked if they want anything.

    there is more but i will leave that for another day.

    the question that arises from this is how far have we come in 125 years?
    Last edit by gwenith on May 11, '03
    •  
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    Hmmmmm. Cheerfulness and alacrity without boisterousness

    Hmmmmm womanly sympathy with suffering

    Hmmmmm for invalids are captious and are inclined to find fault

    Hmmmmm The colours should be light and pleasing to the eye avoiding on the one hand those which are sombe and mournful, and on the other hand those which are decidedly gaudy.

    Hmmmmm Nope not an 1875 nurse
    Last edit by P_RN on May 12, '03
  4. by   Katnip
    Uh. Oh. I fear my mode of pillow smoothing may not meet proper standards.
  5. by   betts
    Sometimes the significance of today will not be truly apparent unless seen against the backdrop of yesterday. Changes and trends in nursing now, can be understood and interpreted not only by nursing's contemporary context but also by its past.
  6. by   purplemania
    I agree with the gist of the message: not everyone is cut out to be a nurse! And nursing does involve sustainment of hope.
  7. by   gwenith
    What interested me about this and why I was moved to post it was how he talks about the importance of nursing.

    Although I have 1875 as the publication date in truth that is the only date I can find in the text. This date is found at the bottom of the "preface to the new edition" so I would venture that the actual text was written well before that which makes it pre-Nightingale.

    The book itself has been in my family since 1909 when my great grandmother immigrated to Australia to a remote cattle property. This text was to be thier medical reference in case of emergency!
  8. by   MartL
    message deleted for violation of TOS
    Last edit by prmenrs on May 12, '03
  9. by   liberalrn
    I love it! And I don't think we've come all that far...every hospital has a dress code......none of it gaudy! I love the zinger re: the needy pts at the end...so true. Am interested in the rest of this. give us more!

close