Letter from William Osler to Isabel Hampton [Transcript]
Osler, Dr. Halsted, and Dr. Kelly have been appointed by the Medical Board to make improvements to the nursing department
at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Osler is requesting Miss Hampton's, the principal of the Training School for Nurses, advice
on the matter.
[Description courtesy of McGill University.]
About this transcript: Soon after Osler's death in 1919, Lady Osler asked their good friend Dr. Harvey Cushing to write
a biography. For this project, Cushing gathered a wide variety of material, including a substantial amount of Osler correspondence
and other memorabilia borrowed from Osler's family, friends, and colleagues. He employed three secretaries to transcribe
these documents, and later donated the transcripts (along with his other working materials) to the Osler Library. Because
many of the original documents were returned to the owners, the Cushing transcripts constitute the largest and most accessible
collection of Osler's correspondence.
Harvey Cushing's "Life of Sir William Osler" was published by Oxford University Press in 1925, and was awarded
a Pulitzer Prize in 1926.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (386,582 Bytes)
1892-12-21 (December 21, 1892)
Transcriber: [Cushing, Harvey]
Original Repository: Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University. Osler Library Archive Collections, P417: Harvey Cushing Fonds
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
"Father of Modern Medicine": The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1889-1905
No. 1 West Franklin Street
Baltimore, Dec, 21st, 1892
Dear Miss Hampton: -
At a meeting of the Medical Board today the question came up about the nursing in the pay wards, particularly with reference
to the complaints of the patients as to the rapid rotation and change of nurses. The matter has apparently been talked of
a great deal outside of the hospital, and was not brought up by anyone directly associated with the hospital, though we all
must have felt in certain instances that it is a good deal of a hardship. Dr. Halsted, Dr. Kelly, and myself have been appointed
a committee to look into the subject, and we shall need your cooperation and advice. It would be interesting to get details
from other hospitals with large private-ward service, particularly the Massachusetts General and the University Hospital of
Philadelphia, as to the number of nurses to the cases, and the number of special nurses. It seems to me that if a larger number
of the operative and special cases, such as Mrs. P's case in Ward C at present -if such could more frequently have special
nurses, it would be a great gain. The question is one of course which is very important to the hospital and to the training-school,
and is deserving of our most careful consideration.
Do think this matter over and devise some plan. Would it be possible to put only the seniors or the graduates in the pay-wards?