Nursing Ethics: For Hospital and Private Use (Paperback)
Published in 1900 by nursing superintendent and teacher Isabel Robb, these essays shed light on the ethical and practical principles of the nursing profession in its early years.
Though much of the information herein is outdated, Robb's discussions offer historical insights into how hospitals operated in her time. Monitoring patients, assisting during surgeries, and keeping a ward safe and hygienic was a very different process circa 1900. Most of the machines seen today adjacent to hospital beds monitoring breathing and rate functions simply hadn't been invented: by necessity, nursing in 1900 was a more intensive and hands-on process. Modern nursing began with the innovations of Florence Nightingale in the 1850s, with the profession established more widely in the USA and Europe beginning in the 1870s.
Robb is most focused upon the character traits and rigorous ethics required to nurse well. She elaborates at length upon the personal manner, standards of dress, and best practice in various nursing duties. She also elaborates on how the qualities of a good housewife to some extent mirror that of a nurse, and discusses the degree of physical fitness necessary for tasks. Chapters are devoted to the specialisms of the time - notably the senior nurse and head nurse - and to working night shifts.