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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Nurse Needles: 1942

Nurse Needles: 1942

November 1942. "Nurses in training. Babies' Hospital, New York. A graduate nurse (right) watches student Susan Petty prepare a hypodermic for a patient. Strict adherence to doctors' orders is something every probationer must learn." Photo by Fritz Henle for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Needles really hurt back then

My mother told me that when she gave birth to me by caesarian section so long ago that the needles felt like she was being stabbed by a Parker ball point pen. Made me realize what mothers have to endure from the start.

Hospital Uniforms

All three of my sisters work in our hometown's hospital; one is an RN, one works in admitting and the other works in the admin office. About a month ago the hospital changed the dress policy and now only staff directly involved in patient care can wear scrubs, everyone else has to wear something else. The sister who worked in admitting was ticked off by this as she had to go out and purchase new clothes for work. I can understand the need for change though, my wife has had multiple hospitalizations in the past year and it is easier on everyone if patients/family can identify the patient care staff from houskeeping or maintenance.

For 'Candy Striper'

They look awfully close to what my mother used to wear so I'd say they trained at 'Columbia Presbyterian'.

Hope it was sharp

This was in the days before single use needles and syringes. After Ms. Petty has given the injection, the needle and syringe would go into the autoclave. The syringes were ready to go again after they were unwrapped but the needles generally needed a touchup on the arkansas stone. Not every orderly had good honing skills.

Candy Striper

The nursing trainee is wearing the Candy Striper uniform. While I do not know what school the nurses hat represents, from the 1920's to the 1970's Babies Hospital did major recruitment of nurses from Great Britain, Canada, and the British Empire. In the old days you saw many obscure nurses caps from many different countries.

A nurse is a nurse --

Back in the day, you could always tell a registered nurse from a practical nurse from a nurse's assistant by their uniforms, and the stripe pattern on their caps.

Today, all that is gone, and with everyone from doctors to dish washers (no offense meant) wearing multi-color "scrubs", who knows who is who?

Sweet Sue

I'm guessing that getting a shot from this lovely nurse somehow would not have been as painful as normally expected. Of course, it looks like only infants were involved in her job. Love the old school uniforms!

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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