Nursing - Hektoen International

Book review: Ethel Gordon Fenwick: Nursing Reformer and the First Registered Nurse

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Book cover of Ethel Gordon Fenwick: Nursing Reformer and the First Registered Nurse by Jenny Main. With the exception of Florence Nightingale and more recently of Mary Seacole, relatively few biographies have been written about pioneering nurses. Yet there have been many others who made great contributions to […]

Sarah Gamp: precursor of the nursing profession

Illustration of Mrs. Gamp by Frederick Barnard. From The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Before the reforms introduced by Florence Nightingale, the nursing profession was exemplified by women such as the famous Sarah (Sairey) Gamp of Charles Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit. Described as a fat woman with a […]

Sister Kenny: the forgotten Nightingale

Anand Raja Devaraj Sushama Kerala, India   Elizabeth Kenny photographed in 1915. Unknown photographer. Item held by John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Medical practices flourish and fall out of favor with time. Some become the norm only to turn redundant later; others prevail after a hard battle for acceptance. A campaign is even […]

Matron Charlotte Evelyn Nelson (1938-1954) and her portrait by Alice Burton

Frederick John O’Dell Northampton, United Kingdom   Miss C E Nelson, 1955, by Alice Burton. Northampton General Hospital private collection. Image photograph by the author. Charlotte Evelyn Nelson (1894-1959) was born on 13 July 1894 in Hull. Before her sixth birthday she was orphaned, as the 1901 census lists her at the Hull Seamans and […]

Doris Unland: surgical nurse extraordinaire

Frederic Grannis Duarte, California, United States   Doris Unland RN “scrubbed in” OR 10. Doris Unland was an extraordinary American surgical nurse who worked for forty-seven years at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. She may have participated in more major surgical operations than any other person—physician or nurse—in history. Born on December 19, 1910, […]

The art of nursing

Isabelle J. St. John Milwaukee, WI   Cornelia Parker’s art piece appears as an explosion suspended in time, which effectively conveys how a nurse operates as an artist of care; nurses enter their patients’ lives at the moment of explosion, and they have the ability to suspend that explosion for a moment in time and […]

Four nurses caring for one patient

Four nurses are taking care of this sick patient, presumably in a hospital, clearly at a time when there was no nursing shortage. The one on the left is taking the patient’s pulse; one on the right seems to be staring into space. Vintage engraving of Victorian nurses caring for a dying man suffering from […]

Nurse brings in the meal for a convalescing patient

This scene is from the nineteenth century, when most sick people were being cared for at home. A family member is reading to a convalescing young woman, while a nurse seen on the far right is bringing in the patient’s medicine, or more likely the meal, which she has probably prepared herself. A girl reads […]

Operating room nurses

Two nurses and a male porter are returning to the ward a patient who has just undergone surgery. Another nurse is holding up a bottle of blood or saline. Operating room staff wheeling a patient back into a ward after an operation. Oil painting by Ethel Macmillan, ca. 1940. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0)   […]

Nurse dressing a wounded soldier during World War I

This painting by John Lavery, published in the Burlington Magazine, (September 2014, Vol. 156 | No. 1338) shows a wounded World War I soldier having his arm dressed by a nurse. She wears the traditional uniform of nurses, with a veil attached to her cap, reflecting the times when nurses were still being addressed as […]