Personalities, preferences and practicalities: educating nurses in wound sepsis in the British Hospital, 1870-1920

Jones, C. L., Dupree, M., Hutchison, I., Gardiner, S. and Rafferty, A.-M. (2018) Personalities, preferences and practicalities: educating nurses in wound sepsis in the British Hospital, 1870-1920. Social History of Medicine, 31(3), pp. 577-604. (doi:10.1093/shm/hkx016)

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Abstract

The history of nursing education has often been portrayed as the subordination of nursing to medicine. Yet, as scholars are increasingly acknowledging, the professional boundaries between medicine and nursing were fluid in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when both scientific knowledge and systems of nurse training were in flux. Through its focus on the role of medical practitioners in educating nurses in wound sepsis at four British hospitals between 1870 and 1920, this article attempts to further unite histories of medicine and nursing. It demonstrates that, in this period of uncertainty, the ideas and practices relating to antisepsis, asepsis and bacteriology disseminated to nursing probationers depended on the individual instructor. In demonstrating the localised nature of nursing education, this article argues that further analyses of clinical problems like wound sepsis may enable historians to more clearly identify the importance of professional collaboration within the hospital.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors wish to thank the Leverhulme Trust for the Research Project Grant (RPG-2013–157), ‘From Microbes to Matrons: Infection Control in British Hospitals, 1870–1970’, which supported this work.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hutchison, Dr Iain and Dupree, Professor Marguerite
Authors: Jones, C. L., Dupree, M., Hutchison, I., Gardiner, S., and Rafferty, A.-M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Social History of Medicine
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0951-631X
ISSN (Online):1477-4666
Published Online:04 May 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Social History of Medicine 31(3):577-604
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
590431From microbes to matrons: Infection Control in British Hospitals 1870-1970Marguerite DupreeLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHULME)RPG-2013-157SPS - ECONOMIC & SOCIAL HISTORY