What was Nursing Practice like in 1941?

We all get so caught up in the madness of our workdays that sometimes its nice to just take a few minutes to reflect on how things have altered with nursing over the years.

In a previous blog post I mentioned a book I’ve read that provides fascinating  insight into how Nursing was practiced  in 1941 . The book is called Practical Nursing including Hygiene and Dietetics  by  W.T. Gordon Pugii and was published by William Blackwood & Sons Ltd in London.

Here are some interesting snippets!

Can you imagine if these enaema’s were routine today!

Antispasmodic Enemata –  used oil of Terpentine and Treacle in a pint of warm water to relieve distension after operation

Anthelmintic Enemata –  used a solution of common salt

Sedative Enemata – used a combination of  starch and opium

Stimulating Enemata to counteract collapse or shock – Black coffee

Astringent Enemata for ulcerative conditions – used silver nitrate in distilled water noting that a cocaine or morphine suppository may be required beforehand

Mustard Baths are “sometimes used in cases of convulsions, spasmodic croup and measles where the rash has not developed”

“Xrays are largely used in the treatment of malignant diseases and ringworm of the scalp, occasionally for other skin affections and chronic rheumatism”

“Where possible the patient should be covered up and the windows thrown widely open two or three times a day, so as to ensure a thorough changing of the air.”

“Dog Bites – Wash the wound; squeeze the blood towards the bit and let the patient suck it and spit out the blood”

“Washing a Patient – If the patient is very dirty, the water should be changed more than one, a few drops of ammonia or a little powdered Borax being added to it”

Can you guess the name of the piece of equipment in the photograph?

Have you come across old texts or perhaps spoken with retired Nurses who have shared fabulous  memories of the past in Nursing .  If you have, we’d love to hear from you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *