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tration law. Like many another State, we such a reputation before taking up nurshave many discouragements in trying to ing. Professional nurses are not free from protect our interests, and to regulate the fault, or infallible in skill; but it is an afwork of unqualified nurses.
front and indignity for physicians to pass I believe thoroughly in the old policy of by reputable and skilful trained nurses and "Live and let live,” but it is observed by to take up such women as I describe. many others than nurses that in this State It has been observed by nurses and othmany physicians are following a policy as ers, that the women thus chosen by said regards untrained nurses, which is pro- doctors, to pose as their trained nurses, ductive of a very unjust and depreciating are usually intelligent, tactful, suave, artestimate of the work of trained nurses and ful and designing. But, it cannot be comhospitals.
prehensively explained why any reputable We who have been studying this prob- physician should be so blind as to think lem for ten years past, know that a sur- that there is no difference between the prising number of untrained women are capabilities of women who have had two, being employed or recommended for em- three or more years of hospital training, ployment by doctors in cases where justice and those who have but a smattering of to trained nurses, and the safety of the sick nursing knowledge, picked up hit-or-miss public would demand that trained nurses in course of a few years or less of experishould be employed and recommended. ence as nurses in private families.
Lly policy is to recommend domestic or While not vindictive, I am bold to say untrained nurses for only such cases as that I am glad that now and then a doctor would not be endangered by said nurses' gets the reputation he merits for promullack of advanced knowledge in nursing gating such a policy, i. e., he is suspected subjects. I consider it both dishonest and of having other than professional interests even criminal for any doctor to represent in his so-called nurses. an untrained nurse as a trained nurse, or to Let me ask what would be thought of assure the sick that an untrained nurse is trained nurses if they made a business of just as competent to do nursing as recommending to the sick public the emtrained nurse. Yet, this injustice is per- ployment of so-called magnetic healers, petrated all over our State.
Christian scientists, quacks and other selfWomen who have been clerks in hos- appointed medical (?) men in place of pitals or dispensaries, bookkeepers in hos- regularly graduated physicians? Or if they pitals or doctors' offices, office maids or recommended as being as competent as even in several instances coming to my graduate physicians, the would-be medical notice, hospital dining-room waitresses student, or those who had been but a few have been adopted, so to speak, as the weeks in some medical school? "protegés" and nurses for said doctors,
There is much talk on part of some physand have been foisted upon a gullible pub- icians as to the loyalty which should charlic as “trained nurses,' or “as competent acterize the attitude of the nurse toward as trained nurses."
physicians. But when physicians show The average family regards their fami
the basest kind of disloyalty toward trainly physician as well-nigh infallible. If he
ed nurses in the ways I have mentioned, it recommends a woman as a good and com- is a difficult thing for us to feel anything petent nurse, or asserts that an untrained
but resentment and disgust toward them. nurse in his employ is as competent as We appreciate the fact that a large numa trained or hospital nurse, the family
ber of worthy doctors are strong advousually accepts her as such, without any
cates of thorough education for nurses, and personal investigation as to her character
appreciative of the effort trained nurses or proficiency. Thus is a double injustice have to make to attain that education. Their and wrong perpetrated: The family is en
policy is a safe-guard to the sick, in that dangered by the possibility, and in many
it would advise the best nursing to be had, cases, the probability of errors and incom
and would not countenance pretenders. petence on the nurse's part; and the hardearned skill of the trained nurse is depre
On the other hand, those physicians who ciated to a par with the untrained.
employ and recommend, for personal or Worse vet, many of these pseudo nurses other reasons, untrained nurses, of perhaps to whom I refer have a reputation for de- questionable honesty and morals, are not cidedly immoral proclivities, or have had only cheating reputable trained nurses out of work due them, but are creating an er- herself and the doctor, has saved them roneous public opinion as to the qualifica- from prosecution. tions and moral and social status of trained This physician is a bright man in his pronurses.
fessional work, with this exception, that If people wish to hire untrained nurses he has, so to speak, literally swallowed this on their own initiative, and pay them the woman whole, and seems to be willing to same fees charged by trained nurses, they accept any kind of work she has a mind to have that right; but the right - minded give, or to excuse any mistakes or dephysician should not lend his aid or com- linquencies she is guilty of. What can be mendation to any such nursing frauds as said of such a situation? are being daily perpetrated by designing, Many quite similar instances have come unqualified and undesirable pseudo nurses. to my notice in this State. I believe you
[The writer cites the case of a pretender will agree with the graduate nurses who in her town who, without any experience wish to protest earnestly against such whatsoever, has been nursing for several things. We believe that such a policy on local doctors. She has at last won the part of even a part of the doctors of this good graces of a surgeon.-EDITOR.) State, cannot fail of proving a hindrance
He has employed her in preference to to the advancement of nurses' education graduate nurses, and has represented her and training, and that it lowers the moral to his patients as a “trained nurse," or status of our profession. "as competent as a trained nurse." She is Hoping that you will feel that you can fairly capable in nursing convalescents and give us an editorial in The GAZETTE, I mildly-ill persons; but in caring for serious must ask that for ethical reasons my name cases she has made many blunders; and be not used in connection with the matter. her ignorance of the symptoms of serious Thanking you in advance for any help complications has several times nearly you may feel able to give in this way, I am proved fatal to her patients. Only a sys
Yours very truly, tem of lies and subterfuge on the part of
The responsibility of replying to the women who lack the patience or the abiliabove letter falls on the Editor of this de- ty to fit themselves for doing good work partment who realizes that it is easier to are not slow to see their opportunity and plead the cause of the trained nurse than rush into the business by any short cut to suggest the right remedy for the ills that they can take. The dear public, supthat confront her. Our correspondent has plying the sick folk and the money wherestated her case clearly and forcibly. She with to pay the nurse, has neither time nor tells a story that could be duplicated, with inclination to look into the ethics of the variations, in every community, big and case; a nurse is a nurse. Even the doctor little, in this free country of ours. With is self-centered enough to be oblivious to or without State registration—it makes lit- the real situation; all he asks is some one tle difference to-day—the trained nurse who will obey his orders while he is busy in every State is subjected to the most with serums and pills, or the bali gameatrocious competition of unqualified and and there's the rub! unregulated upstarts whose operations re- So, between the innocent, unsuspecting mind us of the mythologic liarpies. By layman on the one hand, and the condint of much effort and perseverance scienceless, busy physician on the other trained nurses have, within a few years, hand, the enterprising, “practical" nurse elevated themselves to the rank of a pro- -well named if not well trained-sails in, fession and, incidentally, made big busi- and easily appropriates the "case;" the ness for the untrained nurse. The sterling trained nurse, all this time, to whom the reputation which the trained nurse has "case" logically belongs—what does she won for herself confers added dignity and do? Well, in our town she stands afar off honor on every amateur who assumes the and pretends not to see the episode. name and dress of a nurse; and ambitious The trained nurse pretends that she
doesn't see the pirate because she doesn't to nurses and physicians. The official asklike pirates and she doesn't want to have ed if the GAZETTE could not get along withanything to do with pirates—even to look out criticising the words and deeds of some at them! Does this strike you as a logical of the conspicuous leaders in her profesattitude? Not long ago the Editor at- sion. The Editor replied that while he saw tended a meeting of nurses in which one many things to praise in the official adyoung nurse, more venturesome than the ministration of nursing affairs, he believed rest, dared to drag in this bogey, the prac- with many other people, that the nursing tical nurse, and to ask what the nursing profession was making some serious misprofession were going to do about it. takes and that it was the humble function Then up rose a very prominent and emi- of the GAZETTE to point them out and give nent trained nurse who asserted that the its readers a chance to think about them; nursing problem was simply no problem one of these mistakes was the attitude of at all.
She said that the trained nurse the profession toward the untrained and was rapidly driving all other sorts of partly trained nurse. "Have patience with
. “ nurses out of the field, and she predicted us a little while longer" said the official. “on the very best authority” that within “This problem is a very difficult one to a very few years there would not be a handle and is vexing us greatly, but I single untrained nurse left in our large can promise you that some time we will centers to compete with the graduates. take official cognizance of the untrained When this eminent nurse sat down she sat nurse and give her the recognition that on the young and venturesome nurse, rightfully belongs to her.” Virtually, metaphorically speaking, and brought the this woman admitted that a state law which house down with her. There was much regulates trained nurses and does not so applause and clapping of hands, although much as mention the motley mob of unseveral impetuous delegates were observed trained nurses, who do the lion's share of to clap their hands over their mouths for the nursing, is far from adequate. This fear of talking back to the prominent one. has always been our contention. Several Most of the delegates looked as if they years ago the GazettE said that the trainfelt better—they had heard what they ed nurse ought, logically, to have complete wanted to hear; in this case the wish was control of the nursing situation in this father-or mother—to the thought. But country. To-day we find this sentiment every city nurse in that big room knew slowly creeping into the deliberations of very well that the eminent one was talking "official” circles. Some day it will find the most arrant nonsense, and the Editor expression in the form of amendments to would have bet his derby hat against her our present registration laws and the uncap (if Roberts' Rules of Order had per- trained nurse will discover that they are mitted it) that there were more "cases" taking notice of her higher up. Then it in her own home town at that minute un- will come to pass that women who wish to der the care of untrained nurses than there tend the sick will have to "qualify" and were under care of all the trained nurses take out a license-just like midwives, in the town!
pharmacists, teachers, plumbers, embalmA few months after this little comedy
In most cities a man can not the Editor was honored by an invitation to run a rag shop or junk yard without semeet one of the officials of a certain state curing an annual permit from the mayor, board of registration, who happened to be but his wife and daughters can come and visiting in his city. Of course he accepted go among the élite, tending them through the opportunity so graciously offered and the most critical illnesses and dosing them had the privilege of a quiet and earnest with all sorts of poisons, and no one dares conference on matters of mutual interest molest them. It is a business proposition
now, and the public is pouring money into profession, or the lawyers, or the grangers,
, hospitals and training schools and raising to draft suitable laws for the regulation up a body of educated nurses who are of nursing; they will do nothing of the perfectly capable of directing all the nurs- sort. The medical practice laws in our ing of all the people all the time if they are States were enacted through the persistent given the chance. When will they speak influence of doctors. The laws that nurses up and demand this right?
would like to see enacted must be framed When?
and presented and advocated by the nursWhen they ask they will receive. But ing body. now the average trained nurse, in order After the nurses have worked the legisto preserve her proper dignity, simply ig- latures they must work their own townsnores the untrained nurse in public al- a more difficult and less picturesque task. though she worries about her a good bit They must give a helping hand to the partin private. She thinks that an untrained ly trained nurses who have legal status; woman ought not to put on airs and claim they must weed out and suppress those to know it all and demand the same price who are legally debarred from nursing, as a graduate nurse; but the other woman just as doctors are all the time prosecuting doesn't think so—she is getting easy illegal practitioners of medicine. They money. She thinks that a doctor ought to must educate the public, and even the docknow better than to tolerate the assistance tors, up to a more kindly interest in the of an ignorant nurse when the best can be comfort of sick folk, to the end that more had; but some doctors are perverse and of the nursing may be entrusted to compethink differently. She thinks that the lay- tent hands and less of it undertaken by man ought to know a good thing when tired mothers and awkward sisters who he sees it, ought to know when he is ought to work in other lines of usefulness. swindled and when he is getting value re- When all this has been accomplished we ceived for his money; but the layman shall still have to wait some for the mildoesn't know anything about it.
lennium. It remains for the trained nurse to trans- We would be glad to have a free dislate her thoughts into action. She will cussion of this topic by any of our readers. have to show the people the right way out of this nursing snarl and she will have to IF "R. Nurse," Indianapolis, will kindagitate until she secures legislation that ly comply with our requirement by sendwill cover the whole field and not a part ing us her name and address we will be of it. She need not wait for the medical glad to answer her questions.
Give thanks to whom?
Give thanks for what?
“I thank three" to the best or least of these
ADA DAVENPORT KENDALL.
It is a curious fact, but not the less a be almost negligible and published the refact, that discussions as to alcohol lead sults of the findings. His action aroused to a kird of inebriation in the debaters. the ire of the antagonists of alcohol of Those who are opposed to the use of al- whom Sir Victor Horsley made himself the cohol and deny that it is of any value what- mouthpiece and a violent discussion arose ever, are the ones who generally become in which doubt was cast on Pearson's most intoxicated when speaking or writ- figures and it was hinted that his deducing on the subject. They seem to be in- tions were altogether wrong. ebriated with the exuberance of their own In these times no reasonable person verbosity and more intolerant of the views argues alcohol is good for any normal inof others than the most strong lunged or dividual and he will not dispute the fact blatant politician, or the most narrow sec- that its use does irreinediable harm directtarian.
ly and indirectly, but it still may be open It appears that discussion of alcohol to question whether alcohol is such an abhas some insidious effect on the system, solutely deadly poison as many aver and in the same way that alcohol itself when that its remote influence upon the yet unimbibed in sufficient quantities prevents born is quite so pernicious as is now consane and reasonable argument. So intol
So intol- stantly being preached. On the other erant have the opponents of alcohol be- hand, perhaps it is well that the general come that they are inclined to stigmatize public should be led to believe the worst as knave or fool anyone who is bold because there is no doubt that the abuse enough to suggest that even alcohol may of alcohol has wrecked, and at the present have its uses.
time wreaks more harm to health and deThis tendency on the part of the advo- cency than any one agent. cate of total abstinence is not confined to The argument that it is better to do the unscientific, those who regard the mat- without alcohol at all than to suffer from ter chiefly from the moral standpoint, but the fearful ills that it brings in its train is evident also in the scientific who ap- may be sound although not entirely scienproach the question irom the physiological tific. and health point of view. In Great Britain A very favorable aspect of the situation not long ago Professor Kar! Pearson, the is that the drunkard or even the man who high priest of eugenics, and the man on drinks is not regarded with the goodwhom the mantle of Galton has fallen, a natured tolerance of yore. The drunkard man, needless to state, of the highest is looked upon as a pariah or diseased, scientific knowledge, made a series of in- while it is recognized that moderate drinkvestigations with regard to the effect of ing does not make for efficiency. In the alcohol drinking of parents upon progeny. strenuous stress and strain of modern exHe found that the effect was so small as to istence drinking moderately handicaps the