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“Called to Nurse”: Nursing, Race, and Americanization in Early 20th-Century Puerto Rico

“Called to Nurse”: Nursing, Race, and Americanization in Early 20th-Century Puerto Rico “Called to Nurse”: Nursing, Race, and Americanization in Early 20th-Century Puerto Rico Ellen Walsh Governors State University Shortly after arriving in Puerto Rico in 1901, Dr. Grace Williams Atkins appealed to a Protestant youth group, the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for help in raising funds to build a hos - pital in Puerto Rico. Professing that she “would gladly do without anything in order to get a respectable place” to care for Puerto Ricans, she described how, the previous week, she had to open an abcess [ sic] in [her] office, give the chloroform and then operate as quickly as possible before the patient came out; afterwards put her in the bath room to recover from her anæsthetic, and finally send her home although she had a raging fever and could hardly totter between her two friends. Lamenting that having to send this patient back “to the worst old shack I have ever been in” would have made her “hair stand on end at home,” she expressed regret that she had no other choice because of the lack of hospitals in San Juan. Atkins was the first medical missionary sent to Puerto Rico by http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

“Called to Nurse”: Nursing, Race, and Americanization in Early 20th-Century Puerto Rico

Nursing History Review , Volume 26 (1): 34 – Jan 1, 2018

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.26.1.138
Publisher site
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Abstract

“Called to Nurse”: Nursing, Race, and Americanization in Early 20th-Century Puerto Rico Ellen Walsh Governors State University Shortly after arriving in Puerto Rico in 1901, Dr. Grace Williams Atkins appealed to a Protestant youth group, the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for help in raising funds to build a hos - pital in Puerto Rico. Professing that she “would gladly do without anything in order to get a respectable place” to care for Puerto Ricans, she described how, the previous week, she had to open an abcess [ sic] in [her] office, give the chloroform and then operate as quickly as possible before the patient came out; afterwards put her in the bath room to recover from her anæsthetic, and finally send her home although she had a raging fever and could hardly totter between her two friends. Lamenting that having to send this patient back “to the worst old shack I have ever been in” would have made her “hair stand on end at home,” she expressed regret that she had no other choice because of the lack of hospitals in San Juan. Atkins was the first medical missionary sent to Puerto Rico by

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2018

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