Nursing | Hektoen International

Saint Elisabeth, a saintly nurse

Saint Elisabeth of Hungary bringing food for the inmates of a hospital (Wellcome Collection).   Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (1207–1231) is one of the most loved saints of the Middle Ages. Also called St. Elizabeth of Thuringia, she is the patron of bakers, beggars, brides, and of charities. Daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary, she was probably […]

Florence Nightingale, The Lady with the Lamp

Florence Nightingale visiting the sick.  Wellcome Library, London For generations, Florence Nightingale has been known as the Saintly Angel of Mercy or the Lady with the Lamp, and her story has been told many times. She arrived in Scutari in November of 1854 with thirty-eight women volunteers, sent by her close friend, the war secretary, […]

The Attentive Nurse

The “nurse” peeling a lemon in Chardin’s painting bears scant resemblance to what the modern eye would recognize as a nurse.  She holds neither bandages, nor a thermometer, nor medicines. Her “uniform” leans more towards that of a kitchen helper or a housemaid. This is not surprising, because in the days before Florence Nightingale’s reforms nursing […]

Hands

Laura Anne White Rochester, Minnesota, USA   I have long been ambivalent toward my prematurely wrinkled hands. This is a combination of my mother’s distaste for her own mitts – I am so sorry you got my hands – and the various comments of others referencing “old lady hands” and similar sentiments. My self-hand-concept has been historically unglamorous. […]

The realities of being a millennial nurse leader

Victorina Malones Manila, Phillippines   Nursing advertisement published by the American Association of the Red Cross in 1918 People may well think that being a millennial only has something to do with social media, selfies, travel, make-up tutorials, impulsiveness, recklessness, carelessness, or freedom. But as the world keeps getting smaller through interconnectivity and constant mobility, […]

Birthday party

Laura Anne White Rochester, MN   Chemotherapy drug I scan the chemotherapy data into the computer system, noting the date of birth listed at the top right of the screen. Happy birthday, I say, hanging the bag of liquid on the IV pole. Thanks, he replies, and we share a contemptuous laugh. It feels like […]

Sunday Sally Rose

Matthew Kinsella Browns Mills, New Jersey   Rose symbolism on gravestone, submitted by author As the new triage nurse on  the City Department Of Homeless Services Street Outreach Team, I could observe at first, orient, get my bearings. Well acquainted with the stark reality of life on the street, my three interdisciplinary teammates  explained the […]

Seven reasons why nurses want to leave their job

Victorina T. Malones Iloilo City, Philippines Some years ago I wanted to work as the best hospital nurse I could possibly be. I worked hard to become a staff nurse. I passed the board exam, had a successful interview, and after months of gaining experience by volunteering, I was hired. After I got the job […]

Heartland down

Stephanie Ezell Chicago, Illinois, United States   Saying that we see emptiness in the eyes of a mentally ill person is a means for the rest of us to be ok, to stand apart. There is nothing there, so we feel better. But if we allow ourselves to soften and be present for a second, […]

The male nurse in literature

Solomon Posen Sydney, Australia   Fictional nurses continue to be predominantly female. In a brilliant essay Fiedler1 makes the point that in literature the terms “Nurse” and “Woman” are almost synonymous. As a result, male nurses, who currently constitute between 6 and 8% of the nursing workforce in the USA,2 Canada3 and Australia4 are considered […]