Nurses In The Early 1800’s Had To Follow These Bizarre Rules…

Here are the main requirements from a 1887 nursing job description:

1. “Daily sweep and mop the floors of your ward, dust the patient’s furniture and window sills.”

nurses in 1800

2. “Maintain an even temperature in your ward by bringing in a scuttle of coal for the day’s business.”

nurses in 1800

3. “Light is important to observe the patient’s condition. Therefore, each day fill kerosene lamps, clean chimneys, and trim wicks.”

nurses in 1800

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.”

nurses in 1800

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.”

nurses in 1800

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.”

nurses in 1800

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.”

nurses in 1800

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.”

nurses in 1800

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.”

nurses in 1800

These ladies were seriously tough!

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