When we hear the word “hero,” we typically think of those rushing into burning buildings, fighting on the battlefield, or defending us from criminal activity. And while certainly those deeds are heroic and deserve our full respect, there are many other professions that don’t always get such recognition.
At the top of that list? Nursing.
These medical professionals not only save lives, but give us comfort, kindness, and compassion when we need it most. In a nostalgic look below, we travel back 129 years, to the year 1887. Back then, nurses had to follow a strict set of guidelines, with rules that may seem a bit confusing or confining to us today.
In addition to caring for 50 patients, each nurse had to do every one of the following…
1. Daily sweep and mop the floors of your ward, dust the patient’s furniture and window sills.
2. Maintain an even temperature in your ward by bringing in a scuttle of coal for the day’s business.
3. Light is important to observe the patient’s condition. Therefore, each day fill kerosene lamps, clean chimneys and trim wicks.
4. The nurse’s notes are important in aiding your physician’s work. Make your pens carefully; you may whittle nibs to your individual taste.
5. Each nurse on day duty will report every day at 7 a.m. and leave at 8 p.m., except on the Sabbath, on which day she will be off from noon to 2 p.m.
6. Graduate nurses in good standing with the director of nurses will be given an evening off each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if you go regularly to church.
7. Each nurse should lay aside from each payday a goodly sum of her earnings for her benefits during her declining years, so that she will not become a burden. For example, if you earn $30 a month, you should set aside $15.
8. Any nurse who smokes, uses liquor in any form, gets her hair done at a beauty shop, or frequents dance halls will give the director of nurses good reason to suspect her worth, intentions and integrity.
9. The nurse who performs her labors and serves her patients and doctors faithfully and without fault for a period of five years will be given an increase by the hospital administration of five cents per day.
Each and every hardworking nurse deserves our utmost respect and appreciation.
Please SHARE these 1887 rules with a nurse you love!