Caring and Curing: Historical Perspectives on Women and by Dianne Dodd, Deborah Gorham

By Dianne Dodd, Deborah Gorham

This selection of essays takes the reader from the early nineteenth century fight among woman midwives and male physicians correct as much as the overdue twentieth century emergence of professionally informed ladies physicians vying for a spot within the scientific hierarchy. The sour clash for keep an eye on of birthing and different elements of household health and wellbeing care among lady lay healers, fairly midwives, and the rising male-dominated clinical career is tested from new views.

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Extra resources for Caring and Curing: Historical Perspectives on Women and Healing in Canada (Social Sciences)

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9 But training alone did not make a good nurse. The personal qualities of nurses themselves were equally important. Just as the drunkeness and disobedience implicit in the image of Sairy Gamp were meant to convey the socially degraded status of the untrained workhouse nurse, the wide range of feminine virtues attributed to the trained modern nurse were meant both to signify the social elevation of nursing work and to suggest the improved moral calibre of the women undertaking it. Only those women fully conversant with the intuitive skills of womanhood would be good nurses.

This study considers the National Council's discussion of nursing and the advent of the "modern" trained nurse at its annual meetings in the 1890s. The first part explores Council women's use of conventional middle-class domestic ideology to define and delimit the meaning of trained hospital nursing in the early 1890s. The second part explores the class and gender assumptions inherent in the distinction made by some Council women between the work of trained nurses and the act of nursing as an expression of evangelical sentiment.

Theirs was primarily a mission of spiritual relief; the nurses whom they hired and trained were but one means to this wider end. Helping Heroines Poor urban dwellers were not the only beneficiaries of the National Council of Women's considerable charitable and spiritual resources in the 1890s. Just as local council affiliates in London and Toronto hoped that friendly visiting and missionary nursing would save urban Canada for Christ, the Council's national leadership looked to nursing— although not necessarily to trained nurses—as a way to empower prairie women as nation-builders.

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