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I had to laugh recently when I came across a nurses list of duties in a hospital in 1887. Let me tell you I’m glad there have been changes. Consider a nurses duties 118 years ago. In addition to caring for your 50 patients, each nurse will follow these regulations: 1. Daily sweep & mop the floors of your ward, dust the patient’s furniture & window sills. 2. Maintain an even temperature in your ward by bringing in a scuttle of coal for the day’s business. 3. Lighting is important to observe the patient’s condition. Therefore, each day fill kerosene lamps, clean chimneys & trim wicks. Wash the windows once a week. 4. The nurse’s notes are important in aiding the physician’s work. Make your pens carefully, you may whittle nibs to your individual taste. 5. Each nurse on day duty will report at 7:00 AM & leave at 8:00 PM., except on the Sabbath, on which day you will be off from noon to 2:00 PM. 6. Graduate nurses in good standing with the director of nurses will be given an evening off each week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if you go regularly to church. 7. Each nurse should lay aside from each payday a goodly sum of her earnings for her benefits during her declining years so that she will not become a burden. For example, if you make $30 a month, you should set aside $15. 8. Any nurse who smokes, uses liquor in any form, gets her hair done at a beauty shop or frequents dance halls will give the director of nurses good reason to suspect her worth, intentions & integrity. 9. The nurse who performs her labors & serves her patients & doctors faithfully & without fault for a period of 5 years will be given an increase by the hospital administration of 5¢ a day, providing there are no hospital debts that are outstanding.

(Charles Swindol, "The Quest for Character" P 159

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