Sister Kenny- Heroic Nurse

  1. Couldn't sleep tonight and turned on the TV. TCM was showing a 1946 biographical film called Sister Kenny starring Rosalind Russell.

    It is the true story of Sister Elizabeth Kenny- a UK nurse who came up with a successful treatment for childhood polio, although the medical community fought her every step of the way.

    It is the fascinating story of an extraordinary woman- and it aptly illustrates something that we already knew: nurses are superior to doctors.

    Link to film:

    Link to elizabeth Kenny bio:
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  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    That was a good movie.
  4. by   oramar
    You are right, great movie, great person. I got the impression she was a pioneer in rehab medicine.
  5. by   HM2VikingRN

    Truly visionary. She founded a rehab institute in MN. She was also very visionary in her attitudes towards rehab and successful rehab practice.
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Oct 23, '07
  6. by   HM2VikingRN

    Her institute is at Abbot Northwestern Hospital in MPLS.


    Did you know that Sister Kenny was not a nun? Elizabeth Kenny was born in Australia in 1880. She was trained as an army nurse and treated the sick for 31 years in the bushlands of Australia. She acquired the title "Sister" -- used in British countries for "nurse."

    In 1911, when she encountered her first case of polio, Sister Kenny was unaware of conventional polio treatment -- immobilizing the affected muscles with splints. Instead, she used common sense and her understanding of anatomy to treat the symptoms of the disease. Sister Kenny applied moist hotpacks to help loosen muscles, relieve pain, and enable limbs to be moved, stretched, and strengthened. The theory of her treatment was muscle "re-education" -- the retraining of muscles so that they could function again.

    In 1940, Sister Kenny traveled to the United States and eventually to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where, in 1942, the Sister Kenny Institute was established. Sister Kenny's pioneering principles of muscle rehabilitation became the foundation of physical therapy.
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Oct 23, '07
  7. by   TrudyRN
    Sr. Kenny came to realize that there are (at least) 2 forms of polio. I don't know if her treatment works for both kinds but she had remarkable success with the cases she treated.
  8. by   rnmomtobe2010
    Awesome motivation!!