The first nurses were hired through ads placed in local publications. In 1890, Michael Reese Hospital decided to open a school of nursing, and trained its first cohort of nurses. In the first year, 15 trainees were accepted. In 1892, a separate building for 40 nurses was erected on the west side of Groveland Avenue at 29th Street. In 1895, schooling was extended to three years, and didactic lectures, given by the medical staff, were added to the curriculum.
From the start, the hospital implemented a training program of young physicians. Initially limited, one to two medical school graduates were accepted. Their training took the form of a preceptorship. In a few years, the annual intern class grew to five or more. Though many left after one year, others remained for two to three years of training. Several of these trainees joined the medical staff upon graduation. Later medical students also came from the Rush Medical College to train.
|The female medical ward of Reese in a photograph taken around 1900
|A view of the children’s ward, taken about 1900. Dr. Isaac Abt headed the Department of Children’s Diseases. (Reform Advocate)|
|A picture from around 1900 shows a gathering of interns having a class in the Hebrew Charities’ West Side Dispensary on the corner of Maxwell and Morgan Streets. (Reform Advocate/Darcie Cohen Fohrman)|
|By 1904 five or more interns were admitted annually to the training program at Reese. Doctors from the class of 1904–1905 were
(left to right) Hinton, Cooley, Tholen, Shepard, Gauss, and Polky. (Darcie Cohen Fohrman)
|These nurses appear to be in a state of posed relaxation in the living room of the Training School. The pillow to the right appears to raise a biological question, “Is a daddy always necessary?” (Reform Advocate)|
|Two nurses at work in the sterilizing room of the hospital. (Reform Advocate)|