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The First World War was the first ‘total war’. Its industrial weaponry damaged millions of men, and drove whole armies underground into dangerously unhealthy trenches. Many were killed. Others suffered from massive, life-threatening injuries; wound infections such as gas gangrene and tetanus; exposure to extremes of temperature; emotional trauma; and systemic disease. Tens of thousands of women volunteered to serve as nurses to alleviate their suffering. Some were fully-trained professionals; others had minimal preparation, and served as volunteer-nurses. Their motivations were a combination of compassion, patriotism, professional pride and a desire for engagement in the ‘great enterprise’ of war. The war led to an outpouring of war-memoirs, produced mostly by soldier-writers whose works came to be seen as a ‘literary canon’ of war-writing. But nurses had offered immediate and long-term care, life-saving expertise, and comfort to the war’s wounded, and their experiences had given them a perspective on industrial warfare which was unique. Until recently, their contributions, both to the saving of lives and to our understanding of warfare have remained largely hidden from view. ‘Nurse Writers of the Great War’ examines these nurses’ memoirs and explores the insights they offer into the nature of nursing and the impact of warfare. The book combines close biographical research with textual analysis, in order to offer an understanding of both nurses’ wartime experiences and the ways in which their lives and backgrounds contributed to the style and content of their writing.

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A history of colonial and post-colonial nursing
Editors: Helen Sweet and Sue Hawkins

Colonial Caring covers over a century of colonial nursing by nurses from a wide range of countries including: Denmark, Britain, USA, Holland and Italy; with the colonised countries including South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Nigeria, India, Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) and the Danish West Indies. It presents unique perspectives from which to interrogate colonialism and post-colonialism including aspects of race, cultural difference and implications of warfare and politics upon nursing. Viewing nursing’s development under colonial and post-colonial rule reveals different faces of a profession that superficially may appear to be consistent and coherent, yet in reality is constantly reinventing itself. Considering such areas as transnational relationships, class, gender, race and politics, this book aims to present current work in progress within the field, to better understand the complex entanglements in nursing’s development as it was imagined and practised in local imperial, colonial and post-colonial contexts. Taking a chronologically-based structure, early chapters examine nursing in situations of conflict in the post-Crimean period from the Indian Rebellion to the Anglo-Boer War. Recruitment, professionalisation of nursing and of military nursing in particular, are therefore considered before moving deeper into the twentieth century reflecting upon later periods of colonialism in which religion and humanitarianism become more central. Drawing from a wide range of sources from official documents to diaries, memoirs and oral sources, and using a variety of methodologies including qualitative and quantitative approaches, the book represents ground-breaking work.

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Mental nurses and their patients, 1935–74

Anecdotal evidence of the testimonies of patients who received treatments for sexual deviations and medical attitudes towards them are scattered in the recorded accounts of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex and queer/questioning (GLBTIQ) people. This book examines the plight of men who were institutionalised in British mental hospitals to receive 'treatment' for homosexuality and transvestism, and the perceptions and actions of the men and women who nursed them. It explores why the majority of the nurses followed orders in administering the treatment - in spite of the zero success-rate in 'straightening out' queer men - but also why a small number surreptitiously defied their superiors by engaging in fascinating subversive behaviours. The book is specifically about the treatments developed for sexual deviations in the UK. Transvestism was also treated fairly widely; however, not to the same extent as homosexuality. After an examination of the oppression and suppression of the sexual deviant, the introduction of aversion therapies for sexual deviance is considered. During the 1930s-1950s, mental health care witnessed a spirit of 'therapeutic optimism' as new somatic treatments and therapies were introduced in mental hospitals. The book also examines the impact these had on the role of mental nurses and explores how such treatments may have essentially normalised nurses to implement painful and distressing 'therapeutic' interventions . The book interprets the testimonies of these 'subversive nurses'. Finally, it explores the inception of 'nurse therapists' and discusses their role in administering aversion therapy.

The working lives of paid carers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Editors: Anne Borsay and Pamela Dale

This book seeks to integrate the history of mental health nursing with the wider history of institutional and community care for people experiencing mental illness and/or living with a learning disability. It develops new research questions by drawing together a concern with exploring the class, gender, skills and working conditions of practitioners with an assessment of the care regimes staff helped create and patients’ experiences of them. Contributors from a range of disciplines use a variety of source material to examine both continuity and change in the history of care over two centuries. The book benefits from a foreword by Mick Carpenter and will appeal to researchers and students interested in all aspects of the history of nursing and the history of care. The book is also designed to be accessible to practitioners and the general reader.

This book explores how skilled nursing practice develop to become an essential part of the modern health system. It traces the history and development of nursing practice in Europe and North America. The book explores two broad categories of nursing work: the 'hands-on' clinical work of nurses in hospitals and the work of nurses in public health, which involved health screening, health education and public health crisis management. Until the end of the eighteenth century sick children were, for the most part, cared for at home and, if admitted to hospital, were cared for alongside adults. Around 1900 the baby wards of the children's hospitals had a poor reputation because of their high mortality rates due to poor hygiene, malnutrition and insufficient knowledge of child and infant healthcare . The book relates particular experiences of Australian and New Zealand nurses during World War I, With a focus on 'the life of a consumptive' in early twentieth-century Ireland, it examine the experiences of the sanatorium patient. sanatorium nursing. As sanatoria became a special division of public health, sanatorium nursing developed as a branch of nursing distinct from other branches. An analysis of public health and nursing issues during the cholera epidemic shows the changes in the city's health administration and the nursing system after the epidemic. The nurses' work with schoolchildren, coal miners and migrant workers is also examined against the backdrop of economic, social, political, racial and healthcare forces.

This book demonstrates the continuities and the changes in wartime nursing during the one hundred years, from 1854 to 1953. It examines the work that nurses of many differing nations undertook during the Crimean War, the Boer War, the Spanish Civil War, both World Wars and the Korean War. The influence that Florence Nightingale had on Southern women providing nursing care to Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War, and the work of the flight nurses, are detailed. The book also examines the challenges faced by nurses caring for the thousands of soldiers suffering from typhoid epidemics, and those at the Norwegian Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (NORMASH). The decades following the Crimean War witnessed a burgeoning of personal narratives relating accounts of nurses who ministered to combatants in the Franco-Prussian and Anglo-Zulu wars. In considering the work of First World War military nurses, the book explores the dangerous military and political worlds in which nurses negotiated their practice. The book argues that the air evacuation system which had originated during the Second World War was an exciting nursing innovation for the service of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). At the beginning of the Second Anglo-Boer War, there were three distinct groups of female nurses: the Army Nursing Reserve; civilian nurses; and volunteers, many of whom came under the auspices of the Red Cross. The humanitarian work of trained and volunteer nurses after the liberation of Bergen-Belsen in 1945, and their clinical wisdom enabled many of the victims to rehabilitate.

A history of the occupational health of nurses, 1880–1948

This book compares the histories of psychiatric and voluntary hospital nurses’ health from the rise of the professional nurse in 1880 to the advent of the National Health Service in 1948. In the process it reveals the ways national ideas about the organisation of nursing impacted on the lives of ordinary nurses. It explains why the management of nurses’ health changed over time and between places and sets these changes within a wider context of social, political and economic history. High rates of sickness absence in the nursing profession attract increasing criticism. Nurses took more days of sick in 2011 than private sector employees and most other groups of public sector workers. This book argues that the roots of today’s problems are embedded in the ways nurses were managed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It documents the nature of nurses’ health problems, the ways in which these problems were perceived and how government, nurse organisations, trade unions and hospitals responded. It offers insights not only into the history of women’s work but also the history of disease and the ways changing scientific knowledge shaped the management of nurses’ health. Its inclusion of male nurses and asylum nursing alongside female voluntary hospital nurses sheds new light on the key themes to preoccupy nurse historians today, particularly social class, gender and the issue of professionalisation.

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Nurse, writer, activist

Ellen La Motte: nurse, writer, activist, is a biography of La Motte that traces the arc of her life, from her birth in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1873 to her death in Washington, D.C. in 1961. It integrates original unexamined sources such as diaries, unpublished manuscripts, and publishing contracts along with primary sources—letters, newspaper articles, health department reports, and public records—with an examination of her prolific published writings, about topics as diverse as tuberculosis nursing, women’s suffrage, nursing during the Great War, and the opium trade. It considers of how she developed as a nurse, writer, and activist once she entered the Johns Hopkins Training School for Nurses in 1898 and grew into a potent force in the anti-tuberculosis campaign. Gaining experience speaking and writing on behalf of controversial causes, La Motte put her talents to use on behalf of the fight for the vote for women, nursing during World War I and the anti-opium campaign.

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Nursing on the Crimean War battlefields

This book is a study of nursing in the five Crimean War armies. It sets military nursing into the wider transnational context, and studies the political and economic as well as the cultural and military factors which impacted the early development of modern nursing. In the Ottoman army there was no nursing corps as such, so doctors gave whatever nursing care their soldiers received. In the other four armies three systems of nursing developed: government-directed, doctor-directed, and religious sisterhood-directed. Government-directed nursing, the system in which Nightingale worked, was the most difficult to apply and placed the most constraints on the nursing superintendent. Religious sisters were highly successful, as were the trained French and Sardinian soldier nurses who reported to them, but the most innovative and productive military nursing developed in a doctor-directed nursing service, that of the Russians. There the director of nursing was a brilliant, internationally renowned Russian surgeon, Nikolai Ivanovitch Pirogov. As well as giving his nurses a wide scope of practice, he placed them in charge of hospital administration. Nursing under direct fire for most of the siege of Sevastopol, the Russian nurses met the challenges brilliantly. The book concludes that French and Sardinian soldier nurses, the Daughters of Charity, and Russian nurses provided the best nursing because they worked on the battlefields where they could save the most lives, while British nurses remained confined in base hospitals.