If You Wanted to Be a Nurse in 1887, You Had to Follow These 9 Rules. Wow, #8 Sounds Brutal!

When we think of our medical system, every employee in a hospital plays a critical role in patient care but nurses are the backbone of that system. More than ever, nurses have skills that go beyond medical knowledge. Some of these skills aren’t learned in a classroom, they come from the heart and that is one of the reasons why many young women pursue a career in nursing. They care for each patient and provide reassurance that they will do everything in their power to help patients recover.

While nurses today have to follow rules and guidelines that were implemented to ensure high quality patient care, nursing rules that were governed in 1887 appear much more strict than they are today. Each nurse had to take care of 50 patients and also follow these 9 nursing rules…

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.

9 Nursing Rules in 1887 - The nurse’s notes are important in aiding your physician’s work. Make your pens carefully; you may whittle nibs to your individual taste.

Flickr / Powerhouse Museum

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 12 noon to 2 p.m.

9 Nursing Rules in 1887 - 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 12 noon to 2 p.m.

Flickr / Keene Public Library

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.

9 Nursing Rules in 1887 - 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.

Flickr / Boston Public Library

H/t: LittleThings

Like many careers, nursing is not easy but nurses have one of the most rewarding careers you can possibly have, making people feel better. Please share these 9 nursing rules from 1887 with your friends, family, and health professionals in your life.

Facebook Comments

Thanks for sharing! Like us on Facebook for more stories like this!