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Matriarchs of the Operating Room: Nurses, Neurosurgery, and Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1920–1940

Matriarchs of the Operating Room: Nurses, Neurosurgery, and Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1920–1940 MatriarchsoftheOperatingRoom:Nurses, Neurosurgery,andJohnsHopkinsHospital, LourdesR.Carhuapoma UniversityofVirginia Ononedayapoorscrubwomanliesbeforeyouontheoperatingtable;thenextperhaps a Cardinal who has travelled across a continent to seek relief at the far famed Johns HopkinsHospital.Youwhohaveservedinoperatingroomsknowthestory.Ifyoufeel from what I have said that our services are different from your own, come to see us. Anexchangeofideaswillberefreshingandhelpfultousboth.¹ These were the words of Agnes Doetsch, a leader in surgical nursing at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the School of Nursing in the early 20th cen- tury. Written in 1935 and entitled, “Speaking of Operating Rooms,” she was referring to those who traveled far and near to “seek relief” at the famed hos- pital. Her words serve as an example of the power of place as a site where an “exchange of ideas” could occur, where heightened vigilance and care could becarriedoutregardlessofsocialclass,andwhereaspecializedteamofnurses andphysicianscouldcometogetherinaneurosurgicalunit. This historical study demonstrates the power of place at a specific localityJohns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Marylandwhere interdis- ciplinary approaches combined to create a specialty area in nursing in 1923. Thestudyisnotmeanttodevaluethemanyinterpretationsofnursinginspe- cifichospitals.²Rather,ittakesadifferentperspectivetodiscusstheinstitution ofJohnsHopkinsHospitalitself,nurses’rolesincreatinganeurosurgicalspe- cialtypractice,andtheconditionsatHopkinsthatmadeitpossiblefornurses andpatientsto thrive. By the early 20th century, Johns Hopkins Hospital was the premier teaching institution in the country, where both hospital clinical facilities and the medical school were linked. Harvey Cushing was an associate NursingHistoryReview28(2020): 133–142. APublicationoftheAmericanAssociationfortheHistory ofNursing. Copyright©2020SpringerPublishingCompany. http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1062-8061.28.133 Pdf_Folio:133 134 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

Matriarchs of the Operating Room: Nurses, Neurosurgery, and Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1920–1940

Nursing History Review , Volume 28 (1): 10 – Sep 19, 2019

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
Copyright
© 2020 Springer Publishing Company
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.28.133
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Abstract

MatriarchsoftheOperatingRoom:Nurses, Neurosurgery,andJohnsHopkinsHospital, LourdesR.Carhuapoma UniversityofVirginia Ononedayapoorscrubwomanliesbeforeyouontheoperatingtable;thenextperhaps a Cardinal who has travelled across a continent to seek relief at the far famed Johns HopkinsHospital.Youwhohaveservedinoperatingroomsknowthestory.Ifyoufeel from what I have said that our services are different from your own, come to see us. Anexchangeofideaswillberefreshingandhelpfultousboth.¹ These were the words of Agnes Doetsch, a leader in surgical nursing at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the School of Nursing in the early 20th cen- tury. Written in 1935 and entitled, “Speaking of Operating Rooms,” she was referring to those who traveled far and near to “seek relief” at the famed hos- pital. Her words serve as an example of the power of place as a site where an “exchange of ideas” could occur, where heightened vigilance and care could becarriedoutregardlessofsocialclass,andwhereaspecializedteamofnurses andphysicianscouldcometogetherinaneurosurgicalunit. This historical study demonstrates the power of place at a specific localityJohns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Marylandwhere interdis- ciplinary approaches combined to create a specialty area in nursing in 1923. Thestudyisnotmeanttodevaluethemanyinterpretationsofnursinginspe- cifichospitals.²Rather,ittakesadifferentperspectivetodiscusstheinstitution ofJohnsHopkinsHospitalitself,nurses’rolesincreatinganeurosurgicalspe- cialtypractice,andtheconditionsatHopkinsthatmadeitpossiblefornurses andpatientsto thrive. By the early 20th century, Johns Hopkins Hospital was the premier teaching institution in the country, where both hospital clinical facilities and the medical school were linked. Harvey Cushing was an associate NursingHistoryReview28(2020): 133–142. APublicationoftheAmericanAssociationfortheHistory ofNursing. Copyright©2020SpringerPublishingCompany. http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1062-8061.28.133 Pdf_Folio:133 134

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Sep 19, 2019

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