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Canadian Hospitals Editor: Florence Lees, visiting Canada late in 1873, reported to Nightingale that Canadian hospitals were deplorable but that Canadian girls had the potential to become good nurses if proper training were available.735 Lees also went to Ottawa at the invitation of Lady Dufferin, wife of the governor general, but who arranged for the visit and any outcome from it are not known (see p 900 below). In fact the first training school for nurses in Canada was begun a year later in St Catharines, Ontario, organized by an Irish-born doctor, Theophilus Mack (1820-81), ‘‘with two nurses brought out at his request by Miss Money from England.’’ Two probationers took the course. Nightingale evidently was not involved and seems not to have heard of it. The by-laws laid down for nurses were, however, influenced by Nightingale, and the nurses called ‘‘sisters.’’736 For many years Canadian women who wanted to train as nurses had to go elsewhere. Most, notably Charlotte Macleod, Isabel Hampton Robb, Elisabeth Robinson Scovil, Louise Darche, and later Norah Livingstone , Mary Agnes Snively and Adelaide Nutting, chose the United States, and then had at least the first part of their careers there. Maria Machin, who trained at Kaiserswerth and in England, was an exception. Nightingale’s first attempt to bring trained nursing into Canada was at the Montreal General Hospital, beginning in 1874. The attempt, described further below, ended badly. The stormy origins of district nursing in Canada, starting in 1896, are included with the material on district nursing below. There is no direct connection between Nightingale and the Toronto General Hospital, but its nursing school was established by Mary Agnes Snively, a Canadian-born nurse trained at Bellevue with Nightingale methods.737 In 1890, the Brandon General Hospital, Manitoba, became one of the earliest Canadian hospitals to start a training school. It had a lady superintendent who had been a pupil at the Winnipeg General, where she was taught by a Leeds graduate, ‘‘a Nightingale School,’’ as it was described. (This was probably L.M. Gordon, who was trained at the Nightingale School and was later its superintendent.) A training school at Medicine Hat, Alberta, had as matron Grace Louise Reynolds, who had also been trained at Leeds ‘‘by a pupil of Nightin735 Lees letter to Nightingale 3 December 1873, Add Mss 47756 f219. 736 John Murray Gibbon with Mary S. Mathewson, Three Centuries of Canadian Nursing 144. 737 Stewart and Austin, A History of Nursing 141. 528 / Florence Nightingale: Extending Nursing gale’’ (again, presumably Gordon). Nurses went from Medicine Hat to Regina and Lethbridge.738 In short, much nursing in western Canada was the result of the efforts of the second generation of Nightingale School-trained nurses. Source: Note to Henry Bonham Carter, with his comment, Add Mss 47718 f143 15 July 1873 Nameless lady from Toronto, candidate to be admitted ‘‘for three or six months’’ at St T. What do you say to this? F.N. HBC: We have now as many lady probationers as seems desirable. To admit an unknown person is not satisfactory, although this might be made dependent on further information. I thought Toronto was Miss Machin’s intended field. If so a second would hardly be required. It is not likely from what we have heard of New York that the experience there gained has hitherto been worth much, so that anything short of six months would be out of the question. Montreal General Hospital Editor: The first, and thoroughly unsuccessful, attempt at bringing Nightingale nurses into Canada came at the instigation of the Montreal General Hospital. Openness to the idea of reform may have been seeded by the visit of Florence Lees in 1873. The situation seemed positive enough for Canadian-born Maria Machin to give up her post as home sister at St Thomas’ and take a team of four nurses to Montreal in August of 1875 (two more were sent in 1877). The hospital had promised a new hospital building, a nurses’ home and the launching of a training school, but neither building was so much as started while the group was there. In the face of these and other troubles Machin admitted defeat after three years’ struggle. Seymer notes that the next attempt at reform at Montreal also failed, that time under an American nurse, Anna Maxwell, who lasted only a year. A training school was not established at the Montreal General until 1890, under another Canadian, Norah Livingston, a...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781554581702
Related ISBN
9780889205208
MARC Record
OCLC
625268199
Pages
950
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-10
Language
English
Open Access
No
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