A Nursing Manual from 1957

The Arthur H. Aufses, Jr. MD Archives recently received a copy of the 1957 Mount Sinai Nursing Department Manual of Nursing Procedures from Gail Singer Lyon, member of the Class of 1962 of The Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing. Manuals like these have value because they show what the patient experience and medical care were like then, and they provide a sense of what the duties of a nurse were at a given point of time. The Archives has many such manuals from 1931 up to the present day, and they provide great information on how nursing, medicine, and hospitals have changed over this span.

While the Archives has other copies of this edition of the Manual, what makes this copy special are the extras that Ms. Lyon has included with her volume, from inserts to doodles. The manuals were given to the students to govern their practice when they were in the clinical areas of the Hospital. It includes detailed instructions on everything from Abdominal Binders to Wall Suction, Method of Using. Throughout the Manual, when it is necessary to provide examples using the names of doctors, the procedures referred to them as Dr. Roe and Dr. Moe.  The patient is, of course, John or Jane Doe. Ms. Lyon wrote hints and additional information on the pages of her volume, and also inserted forms and updates to the policies.

This post highlights some of those ‘extras’ that make this volume interesting.

This form shows the communications technology of the time. Note the bottom row for how a family would be reached in time of emergency.

A lovely drawing showing how to restrain a child

A doodle, clearly showing a woman wearing a Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing cap, with is many pleats in the front.