21st century nursing

We finally made it to nursing today! It’s been a crazy learning experience over the summer and finding out more about nursing in history. This week I learned about nurses in Afghanistan and how many of them wanted to change out of trauma when they got home. I don’t blame them one bit because I can only imagine what they saw while they were out there. Also, nursing today is more focuses on preventing the illness rather than back in the day where it was just caring for it. I think that is so important in our medical care. Telehealth is also something that is coming around. It is video chatting with doctors and nurses for patient’s health. Patients can use it, but also healthcare workers to get better access and ideas to help treat their patients. It allows rural places to have better access to care when they need it. Technology is definitely changing the healthcare world today.

If my workplace offered Telehealth, I think that is something I would utilize. I am in the OR though, so I don’t believe it is needed as much. If I was on the floor as a nurse, I would definitely want access to talking to doctors over videochat, or other nurses in order for me to give better care. During one of my clinicals in nursing school, one of the floors at Utah Valley Hospital had a TV screen that was used to contact specialized doctors (that other doctors) could refer to and get help. I think that’s awesome!

I feel honored, or grateful to be in the century where so much technology is being invented that is helping us provide better patient care. If we had to do without it, it would be a whole different scene. I believe it is helping us take better care of our patients, and helping us focus on their needs. 

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Nursing in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s

It was fun to learn about nursing in the years leading up to when I was born. One of my teammates found that Hospice nursing started in 1974 by a nurse names Florence Wald. I am so grateful that she founded this because I have benefitted from the services with my own grandpa. She started it because once all the treatments were done in the hospital, the patients were sent home to die because there was nothing left to do. The families and caregivers had little care and help. Florence put together a team of doctors and nurses who continued to care for the patients after the hospitals stopped caring for them. In 1982, congress required that Medicare pay for hospice care, and today there is 3,200 hospice programs alone in the US. I think that is so neat!! I found that in the 80’s there were many nurses who went on strike for pay raises. Finally a 9% pay raise was accepted, and then the government raised it again for those nurses who didn’t strike as a thank you. In 1983, the first code of conduct for nursing was created. It covered ethics and standards every practitioner promised to meet. 

I will take this information I have learned into my career by really utilizing what Hospice care has to offer. It’s our job as nurses to help educate, and I think educating families and patients about hospice would be a really great thing. I think a lot of people are scared about hospice because it means “death”, but it’s so much more than that. I think if we help them understand, they will want to join the programs and get the benefit that it gives. 

I feel really grateful for the things that we have. Like I mentioned about, I have used hospice with my grandpa and it really made me change the way I thought about it. I was skeptical, but the nurses were so kind and helped us out so much during that difficult time. 

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1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s

I learned various things about this time period. Orthopedic nurses trained for 8 weeks in the classrooms during 1960, and then they had to do a practical and written exam developed by an orthopedic surgeon. After 2 years, both had to be completed and they would receive an orthopedic nursing certificate. During the Korean War, there were many nurses who were out on the battlefront/ they traveled with troops and worked with the MASH units.  The nurses also served on board hospital ships on MEDEVAC aircrafts, and in hospitals in Japan. 7,000 women served as healthcare professionals in the war. In the 1950’s I learned that if a nurse was working and then she got married, she would get laid off and then would only be able to be hired as a private duty nurse. I think that’s crazy that they wouldn’t let married women work in the hospital. It must be because they wanted the women to be home with their families and not be in the workforce. It’s interesting to see how much that has changed today.

I’m an orthopedic Operating Room nurse, so I’d love to find out what certificates there are for that. It sounds like they went through a lot to get their orthopedic nursing certificate. I think it probably was a lot of hard work, especially if it was coming from an orthopedic surgeon. It’s a goal for me to find continuing education so that I can learn more about the specialty I am in. 

I feel grateful to be where I am today as a nurse. I see all of the hardships that nurses faced back in these time periods, and it makes me take a step back and help me realize how lucky I am. I’m grateful for those nurses who served in the wars, they saved thousands of people. 


1920’s and 30’s

I learned a lot about Great Depression nurses during this time frame.  Life in the 30s was mass unemployment, poverty and hardships for many people. Many people were out of jobs, nurses included. Nurses at this time were resourceful and they were able to adapt to the changing needs of the public. They took advantage of the great despair to show how important the nursing profession is to the public and their health. Before the depression, nurses were in private duty nursing. Meaning that a family would hire a nurse to care for a family member in their home. When the stock market crashed, those families could not afford to pay for those nurses anymore. In 1935 there was a great need for nurses in the hospital and public health setting. Many nurses were able to find a job in this. What began as a bad situation for nurses soon turned into a great opportunity for them to show their capabilities and importance.

I will utilize this into my practice by really focusing on boosting public health. When you think of nursing today, you think of nurses in the hospital. That must have changed when the depression hit because so many people had to change into that region of nursing. Public health is something as a nurse you can bring up anywhere. Whether you are in the hospital, a clinic, or a public health nurse, it is beneficial to help people increase their good health.

I feel that I am so grateful for living in the time I do now. It would be so hard to live during the depression era and losing your job. It would be hard to feel adequate at supporting your family when you had nothing. I’m glad that nurses at least got to pick up another job and they were able to start providing for their family again.

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I learned that during the start of WW1, nursing was unregulated. Anyone could call themselves a nurse and that caused many women to volunteer their services. In 1919 that changed. Doctors realized that nurses were and important part to coping with the volume of soldiers with complex care. The military nurses were trained and they were called the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. At the end of the war it was over 10,000 nurses. One of my other teammates showed us an article that showed the beginning of nursing in public schools. I never knew when it started so that was interesting to learn. In 1902 a nurse names Linda Rogers was assigned to be a school nurse because children were missing multiple days of school because they were sick. Having a nurse in school allowed the kids to come to school more often and not miss days of class. The elderly were also “forgotten about” because doctors wanted to spend their time and energy on younger, mothers, and babies alive. I thought that was interesting because the elderly population plays such a big part in our lives today.

I will utilize this information for thanking a school nurse. They do a lot for our school districts and they help keep our kids healthy. While we are not with our kids at school, we can count on the nurses to do their job. It helps us to worry less if our kids have a chronic disease, and it allows our kids to get an education.

I think that it is crazy to see where nursing came from and all the small things that helped turn it into the big thing it is today. Seeing that only volunteers started in WW1, but then to see how doctors realized how valuable trained nurses were is incredible. Think if volunteers were still used, and trained nurses were used later? It could be evolving in a totally different way. 

1880’s and 1890’s

I learned a lot of new things this week. Starting in the 1860’s there were a lot more British women being trained as professional nurses through Nightingale’s nursing schools. They then often became supervisors and helped found more training programs for newer nurses. In 1887, the British Nursing association was established by Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Christian. In the late 1880’s nursing was one of the most popular occupations for middle class women in Britain. I found this interesting, but physicians were the ones who started writing nursing textbooks, but a few years later nurses started to write their own textbooks. I think that is a much better idea because they are the ones actually practicing in the profession, not the physicians. in 1886 the first African American nursing school was opened. There were women called the Ladies of Bountiful and they completed the prep and delivered medications to the poor sick people. Bountiful’s visits and ministrations were regarded as less humiliating and degrading than parish relief. 

I will utilize by keep on getting information from textbooks and articles written by nurses. Physicians have a lot of knowledge and you can learn a lot, but I think learning from other nurses first hand is going to help me grow in my profession even more. They are the ones with the nursing experience and the tips, and I would rather hear it from them.

I feel like this was an important time in history. Many more nursing schools were being established, and a lot more women were going to school. It changed from the thought that only men could be the workers in the family. I think it’s awesome that they had a school for African Americans and it gave them a chance to have an education and help out in the society.

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1860’s and 1870’s

I learned that during this time education was becoming the main aspect of nursing. Many nursing schools were beginning to open and were educating those who wanted to learn. There was one particular school that offered a six month course to women who wanted to nurse their families or for women who wanted an education for their career. It was interesting though, it costed more for the women who just wanted to learn to nurse their family then it did for the ones who learned for their career. It almost would be a better deal I think to do it as a career (and use it when you need it) but then you could nurse your family. That way it was cheaper, and then you also had a career to fall back on if you needed it. I also found that Florence Nightingale turned her attention to infirmaries after the Crimean War. She created a nursing school on 1/2 of one of the infirmaries. Nightingale rarely ventured out of her home, but she organized and campaigned from home.

I will utilize this information in my nursing practice by helping “nurse” my family. Back in the day, it was more expensive to learn nursing if you wanted to nurse your family over nursing the community. I will take advantage of my abilities that I got in nursing school to help my family and “nurse” them when they need it. 

I feel like this was a good time in nursing. Nursing schools were beginning to become established, and that is what got us to where nursing is today. If those schools weren’t there, who knows what kind of ways and practices we would be following today. It would be interesting to see how things would turn out.

Nursing in the 1930s,40s, and 50s

I learned a lot this week. I was able to learn more about Florence Nightingale because we watched a documentary about her. You always hear about her in nursing school, so it was neat to actually sit down and learn about her. What I was taught was that she had the theory about environmental settings in relations to patient care. Having a clean and tidy environment helps the outcome of the patient’s care. In the documentary, and also in my research this week I found that if patients were sent to Florence Nightingales hospital (during the war), they were more likely to die than if they were to stay in a tent in camp. I thought that was very interesting because you always hear about Nightingale being the mother of nursing and saving so many people. I learned that she grew up knowing multiple languages and her family was pretty wealthy. I wonder if that’s why she was more well known. From other members of my teams discussions, I learned that African Americans were used as wet nurses during that time period. It’s interesting to find out that because there was so much prejudice and slavery that you wouldn’t think a white woman at that time would let a black person nurse her baby. 

I will utilize this in my nursing practice by understanding where nursing came in history. Florence Nightingale’s Environmental theory helped with the cleanliness of treating patients and showed that cleanliness affects their healing time. I can make sure, especially in my line or work in the OR, that everything stays as clean as it can because it would affect my patient’s outcomes.

I felt that it was really interesting learning about Florence Nightingale. I’ve also learned about Mary Seacole in the same time period, but Florence got all the credit. It was interesting to see that she was blamed for some of the high death rates, even though she was the one to help show that environment plays a big part in patient care. 

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Picture retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Nightingale

1800-1829 Nursing

I learned that there were many nurses in wars before Florence Nightingale. In the war of 1812 the British army used many women as nurses. One person, William Fergusson preferred women over men in this position. He said that male nurses were, “a perversion, in some degree, of a man’s nature, to make him a sick nurse; and the worst woman will generally make a better one, as being more handy and compassionate than an awkward clumsy man.” I thought that was very interesting, and you definitely seen a lot more woman than men in nursing today. It is growing with the number of men though. I also learned that nursing was being noticed more of a career at this time instead of just volunteer work. Nursing programs were beginning to be established, as well as schools and hospitals. The first psychiatric hospital was opened during this time. It’s interesting to look at timelines of important dates in nursing and it really helps you connect major things that happened. From those timelines, it has helped me find more topics to search and find out new information. 

I will utilize this information to be grateful for all the amazing woman nurses there are out there. We are compassionate and caring, and it’s amazing to hear about all the strong female nurses in history that made a difference. I am also grateful for the new abundance of males in nursing today. I think nursing shouldn’t only be a one dominated gender profession, so I think it’s awesome that more males are wanting to go into this career. They also have the same characteristics found in the nurses during history.

I’m glad there was a time that nursing was known as a career instead of just volunteer work. It shows how hard those people were working to take care of others. I was interested to find out that there were many other nurses in wars. I think it’s crazy how Florence Nightingale got all the credit though. Especially after doing a research for a project on Mary Seacole, she was doing nursing work before Florence was even born and helping out in battles. She was turned down from Florence’s organization but chose to go to the battle to help anyways on her own expense. Florence ended up getting more of the recognition though. I think we need to realize that there were others who helped contribute and they are just as important as the “well know names.”

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Picture retrieved from-http://www.womenhistoryblog.com/2014/07/first-women-nurses.html

17th and 18th centuries

This week I studied nursing during the 17th and 18th centuries. During the beginning of the middle ages through the last years of it, women were excluded from academic intuitions. They served as midwives, nurses, and traditional healers. They weren’t taught in medicine so they used home remedies, bloodletting and botanicals. Between the 15th and 17th centuries women healers were targets of witch hunting and I though that was really interesting. Males who did the same thing wouldn’t get targeted, but women did. It’s crazy how times have changed. (Especially now that you thing of nursing as a woman’s profession!). I learned that there were many breakthrough and improvements of medicine during that time. Physicians were finding new things about the human body. This caused an increase in the need of nurses, and this was also the time that it started to be recognized as a profession. At the end of the 18th century, the very first schools of nursing were beginning to be established.

I will take this into my own nursing profession by being interested in more discoveries. Back then the finding of more discoveries lead to more need of nursing. Now days, nurses are the ones helping find new information and putting it into their practice! We as nurses could be the ones who help our profession grow all together.

I think it is crazy to see where things come from. If I were a nurse back in this time and to be targeted as a witch, it would be scary. I don’t know if I would continue with what I was doing. It would be hard to not help people, but if I was being persecuted at the same time, that would affect me a little bit. I’m glad for the need of more nurses with all the discoveries. That shows how useful and important nurses really are.