Saturday, October 6, 2012

All in a Day's Work

The following job description was given to floor nurses in a hospital in 1887:

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.  Wash the windows once a week.

4. The nurse's notes are important in aiding the physician's work.  Make your pens carefully; you may whittle nibs to your individual taste.

5. Each nurse on duty will report every day at 7 a.m. and leave at 8 p.m. except on the Sabbath on which day you will be off from 12 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 regularly go to church.

7. Each nurse should lay aside from each pay day a goodly sum of her earnings for her benefits during her reclining 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 without fault for five years will be given an increase of five cents a day, providing there are no hospital debts outstanding.

Courtesy of Sauder Village.


  1. I'm getting the drift that church attendence = more benefits!

  2. attendance. sorry...the teacher in me just had to make it right!


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