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Source: From a letter to an unnamed recipient, Add Mss 45815 ff135-36 9 May 1900 Private. Dear Madam, There can be but one answer to your question: an annual three weeks’ holiday, instead of two weeks, is quite necessary for workhouse infirmary nurses. But there are things which are not touched upon in your letter: are these nurses day or night nurses, or are they sometimes day, and sometimes night? What is the youngest age at which they become nurses? Have they regular daily out-of-doors exercise? Have they a garden? What kind of number is that of the patients? and what the average of those who require night attendance? (This is generally a lower average in workhouse infirmaries than in hospitals), etc. yours faithfully F. Nightingale Workhouse Nursing in Ireland Editor: Some material on bringing trained nursing into the workhouses of Ireland, particularly on the political and administrative aspects, has already appeared in Public Health Care (6:490-506). Letters here deal more with training, staffing and practice. The lady superintendent at the Belfast Union Infirmary (the workhouse infirmary) was Ella Pirrie , who was not a Nightingale nurse but had trained at the Deaconess Hospital, Edinburgh. She asked for Nightingale’s help and advice and got it. A statue of her at the entrance to the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, on the grounds of the old workhouse, shows her holding a bunch of letters from Nightingale. (See illustration at p 576.) Eight letters each way survive. Source: Notes from a meeting with Ella Pirrie, Add Mss 47763 ff198-200 10 October 1885 Miss Pirrie: 900 beds in Belfast Workhouse Infirmary (not lunatics or fever). Male medical and surgical 3 nurses, one has 150 beds. Female '' '' 4 '' Children 2 '' 150 beds Lying-in beds 300 lyings-in, 2, midwife and daughter 14 nurses—not trained. Nurses—have got them a uniform, have not got them a dining room. They each dine separate[ly] in their own little room. . . . 694 / Florence Nightingale: Extending Nursing Men patients have no clothes, so that they can’t go out. We could not manage them without. But they go from ward to ward, putting a blanket over their nightshirts and we can’t prevent it. And we’re obliged to have in the police. One little child who died covered with sores, whenever he felt pain when they were dressed, used to call out ‘‘Murder , Police.’’ They know they can’t be turned out. In three years only one death; lying-in, about 300 a year. I delivered 50 cases, only one wrong presentation (breech), two hemorrhage. Three moves of lying-in cases: delivery ward two or three days, convalescent ward, workhouse or discharged. (FN: But do you follow them till the month’s end?) Ovariotomy nurse let the poor women get up to fetch a drink on the ninth day, and she died of peritonitis. (FN: Send me statistics.) Source: From two letters to Ella Pirrie, Florence Nightingale Museum (LMA) H1/ST/NC5/85/10 and 13 14 October 1885 How deep is my interest, how intense my feeling for you and your work I need not tell you. Every woman must feel the same. You have done a noble deed in beginning. God will grant the success. You have already done great things. But to know that you may have, and that soon, a trained lady to speak to in the form of a night superintendent tugs at my heart, and that hereafter no vacancy shall occur among the nurses but shall be filled up with a trained nurse. I rather deprecated your having nurses from us, on the ground that Irish don’t like English nurses. To help you must be the desire of us all. And as you tell me that you think the Belfast R. Hospital cannot perhaps Miss Vincent could by and bye help you with trained nurses. How did you like the St Marylebone Infirmary? (You must have been amused at my sending you two telegrams and a note, but when I sent over to Miss Vincent on the Sunday to know when she could show you the infirmary, she appointed 12 on Monday. And I was so afraid I should not reach you in time for your convenience.) Pray, for all our sakes, observe some regularity in exercise and meals. The doctors and ex-officio guardians seem so very kind, we do cordially thank...

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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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