The Introduction of Psychiatric Nursing: The Rockwood Training School for Nurses

Nurses were expected to be proficient in both mental health and physical nursing, as well as to be knowledgeable of the various mental illnesses and how they may appear. For the majority of the nineteenth century, trained nurses did not work at hospitals or asylums. The members of staff who interacted frequently with the patients … More The Introduction of Psychiatric Nursing: The Rockwood Training School for Nurses

Moral Treatment: A New Therapeutic Model

Organized sports and bicycling were also popular. These activities were believed to assist recovery, as they broke up the monotony of asylum life. In the late nineteenth century, Rockwood Asylum underwent a drastic change in treatment philosophies. Begun under the guidance of the third Superintendent Dr. William Metcalf, and continued by Dr. Charles Kirk Clarke, … More Moral Treatment: A New Therapeutic Model

Moral Treatment and Nursing School: The Impact of Dr. Charles Kirk Clarke at Rockwood Asylum.

Clarke strongly believed in “moral treatment”, an approach to mental health based on humane treatment as well as scheduled days in a calm environment. August 13, 1885. Dr. William Metcalf, medical superintendent of Rockwood Asylum and his assistant, Dr. Charles Kirk Clarke, are making their usual morning rounds of the institution. They approach one of … More Moral Treatment and Nursing School: The Impact of Dr. Charles Kirk Clarke at Rockwood Asylum.

Curative Architecture: The Healthful Design of Rockwood Asylum

In July of 1856 thirty-six acres of an estate west of Portsmouth Village, previously owned by politician John Cartwright, were purchased by the United Province of Canada East and Canada West. The intended purpose of the land? To become the home of a future asylum, intended to house both the “criminally insane” of Kington Penitentiary … More Curative Architecture: The Healthful Design of Rockwood Asylum

Good Air and Bad Air: The Importance of Ventilation

Considered by many as the founder of modern nursing, British social reformer Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was one of the most well-known female voices on health care in the 19th century. In this blog entry, I outline what Florence Nightingale believed was the most important consideration of nursing – the ventilation and good air of a patient’s room – and will explore how this advice recurs and develops in the ensuing forty years in home advice manuals. … More Good Air and Bad Air: The Importance of Ventilation

Domestic Nursing: An Introduction to Maintaining the Sick-Room

Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management: A Complete Cookery Book (1861) was perhaps the most well-known and referred-to home advice manual of its time. It was originally published in 24 separate parts from 1859 to 1861, and then compiled as a bound book in 1861, soon becoming a staple in most Victorian homes. … More Domestic Nursing: An Introduction to Maintaining the Sick-Room

Health Care in the Victorian Home

I am very excited to be able to research and share with you a topic I personally find fascinating – health in the Canadian home during the Victorian era. I will be using home advice manuals, written primarily by women authors, to explore how the day-to-day health of families did not primarily fall underneath the purview of the doctor or the midwife, but was left in the care of the mother of the home or the ‘Angel in the House’. … More Health Care in the Victorian Home

The Spanish Flu at KGH: A Frequent and Quick Killer

The following data were obtained from the Admissions and Death Registers at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) for investigation during the research project. Within the Registers, cases of influenza were often associated with other diseases, most frequently pneumonia. If reference to ‘influenza’ was made in the patient’s Reason for Admittance, that individual was included in the cohort being studied. With such a high incidence of pneumonia developing from influenza during the Spanish flu, those with ‘pneumonia’ were also included in the cohort. However, because pneumonia may also develop from a myriad of conditions unrelated to the flu, diagnoses of ‘pneumonia and other non-influenzal disease’ were not included (e.g., anemia and pneumonia). … More The Spanish Flu at KGH: A Frequent and Quick Killer

The History of Vaccinations: The Build Up to the Spanish Flu

An understanding of disease resistance has existed in written records as far back as 429 BCE when the Greek historian Thucydides acknowledged that those who survived a smallpox epidemic in Athens were subsequently protected from the disease. Since a basic understanding of the biological underpinnings of infection was not understood for a long time, it was not until 900 AD when the Chinese developed a rudimentary smallpox inoculation. Chinese physicians noted how uninfected people who were exposed to a smallpox scab were less likely to acquire the disease or, if they did, that it was milder. The most common method of inoculation was to inhale crushed smallpox scabs through the nostrils. … More The History of Vaccinations: The Build Up to the Spanish Flu