Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine,  4 (1855–56), 333–35.

Prize Composition—Notes on Nurses

Annie, Wisbeach


Introduction / Essay


Medical Practitioners, Education, Disease, Human Development, Medical Treatment, Gender

    The introduction to 'Notes on Nurses', the winning entry in a competition for an essay on nurses, points out that all the essays urge the need for a college for training nurses, and thus appear to agree with John F D Maurice's scheme for a 'Female College for the Help of the Rich and the Poor'. The introduction picks out some of the key features of each essay.

    Noting the sparseness of nurses like 'Sairey Gamp', 'Notes on Nurses' insists that nurses typically show 'the greatest care' and 'watchful solitude'. It upholds the importance of appropriate 'looks and voice' when dealing with infants. (333) Thinks nurses are great 'rarities' and agrees with a report from The Times linking infant mortality to nurses' poor and brutal treatment of infants. Notes that rich patients are nursed by individuals who 'do not understand nursing [...] as a science'. Urges that nurses need to have a 'trained mind to comprehend the course of treatment prescribed' and the skill to create the best conditions for recovery. (334) Adds that nursing education should consist of 'grafting the principles of science on the natural tenderness of woman'. Fears that the 'institution' financed by the 'Nightingale testimonial' will not enroll people of 'youth and religious enthusiasm' but hopes it will improve nurses' medical knowledge and career. Concludes by praising the 'noble self-denial' of the nurses at the Crimea. (335)

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