Advance guards of the health army: The bureau of nursing service for New York City's association for improving the conditions of the poor, 1900-1940

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/163599
Category:
Abstract
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Advance guards of the health army: The bureau of nursing service for New York City's association for improving the conditions of the poor, 1900-1940
Author(s):
Connolly, Cynthia
Author Details:
Cynthia Connolly, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, USA, email: cac1@nursing.upenn.edu
Abstract:
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate an experiment initiated by one of New York City's premier charitable organizations, the Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor [AICP]. Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries large numbers of impoverished immigrants swelled the city's population and strained its nascent public health infrastructure. In an effort to prevent the spread of epidemic diseases and provide health care to all who needed it, the AICP founded a Bureau of Nursing Service. Research Questions: What social, cultural, political, scientific, and economic phenomena shaped AICP nurses' practice? What can we learn from our predecessors' efforts that can help nurses today and in the future design strategies to reduce people's risk for disease and disability? In an era in which society is debating the benefits of private charitable initiatives versus government funded programs, are there lessons from the past that might prove instructive? Framework and Methods: Social history methodology was used. Primary sources focused on archival materials from the Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor located at Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Collection in Butler Library in New York City. Other primary sources included records from New York City's Municipal Archives and Library, Visiting Nurse Association, Bellevue Hospital, and the New York Academy of Medicine. The Lillian Wald collections at Columbia University and the New York Public Library were also used. Journal articles, books, newspapers, and narratives in the popular press were aggregated and analyzed. Governmental and private public health reports were examined as were histories of nursing, public health, and medicine. Results and Conclusions: The Bureau of Nursing Service [BNS] evolved into 8 different divisions over a 30 year period. Almost as large at the Department of Health's nursing service, the BNS both supplemented and substituted for municipal agencies. Functioning with few resources in a tumultuous era, BNS nurses used creativity and ingenuity to figure ways around bureaucratic obstacles and obtain services for their indigent clients. They provided care, education, and guidance to patients but theirs is also a cautionary tale. Many patients feared BNS nurses because of their authority; they not only could withhold direct aid if they felt it warranted, they also possessed police powers to recommend the removal of 'dangerous' or 'non-compliant' patients from their homes to institutions. Though their efforts were grounded in the science of the era, many BNS nurses' interventions were heavily influenced by ethnic and class biases, according to today's standards. However, although BNS nurses lacked public accountability because they worked for a private organization, there is no evidence that their practices differed substantively from their Department of Health colleagues. Implications for Nursing Practice and Knowledge Development: The social processes by which explanations for disease emerge are historically and culturally specific. Many contemporary health care providers believe that the issue of how best to care for patients who cannot pay for their health services or for those do not need acute care, but who are too sick to go home or lack the resources to be cared for appropriately there, is a novel problem, one brought about by new therapeutics, advancing technologies, and the economic turbulence of our late twentieth century health care system. This dilemma, however, has been ongoing in the United States since hospitals began to shift from custodial to curative care in the late nineteenth century. Explicating past successes and failures fosters better differentiation between those practices that are efficacious and those that merely have social or political appeal.
Repository Posting Date:
27-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
27-Oct-2011
Conference Date:
2002
Conference Name:
14th Annual Scientific Sessions
Conference Host:
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Conference Location:
University Park, Pennsylvania, USA
Note:
This is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission. Alternatively, please contact the conference host, journal, or publisher (according to the circumstance) for further details regarding this item. If a citation is listed in this record, the item has been published and is available via open-access avenues or a journal/database subscription. Contact your library for assistance in obtaining the as-published article.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.type.categoryAbstracten_US
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleAdvance guards of the health army: The bureau of nursing service for New York City's association for improving the conditions of the poor, 1900-1940en_GB
dc.contributor.authorConnolly, Cynthiaen_US
dc.author.detailsCynthia Connolly, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, USA, email: cac1@nursing.upenn.eduen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/163599-
dc.description.abstractPurpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate an experiment initiated by one of New York City's premier charitable organizations, the Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor [AICP]. Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries large numbers of impoverished immigrants swelled the city's population and strained its nascent public health infrastructure. In an effort to prevent the spread of epidemic diseases and provide health care to all who needed it, the AICP founded a Bureau of Nursing Service. Research Questions: What social, cultural, political, scientific, and economic phenomena shaped AICP nurses' practice? What can we learn from our predecessors' efforts that can help nurses today and in the future design strategies to reduce people's risk for disease and disability? In an era in which society is debating the benefits of private charitable initiatives versus government funded programs, are there lessons from the past that might prove instructive? Framework and Methods: Social history methodology was used. Primary sources focused on archival materials from the Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor located at Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Collection in Butler Library in New York City. Other primary sources included records from New York City's Municipal Archives and Library, Visiting Nurse Association, Bellevue Hospital, and the New York Academy of Medicine. The Lillian Wald collections at Columbia University and the New York Public Library were also used. Journal articles, books, newspapers, and narratives in the popular press were aggregated and analyzed. Governmental and private public health reports were examined as were histories of nursing, public health, and medicine. Results and Conclusions: The Bureau of Nursing Service [BNS] evolved into 8 different divisions over a 30 year period. Almost as large at the Department of Health's nursing service, the BNS both supplemented and substituted for municipal agencies. Functioning with few resources in a tumultuous era, BNS nurses used creativity and ingenuity to figure ways around bureaucratic obstacles and obtain services for their indigent clients. They provided care, education, and guidance to patients but theirs is also a cautionary tale. Many patients feared BNS nurses because of their authority; they not only could withhold direct aid if they felt it warranted, they also possessed police powers to recommend the removal of 'dangerous' or 'non-compliant' patients from their homes to institutions. Though their efforts were grounded in the science of the era, many BNS nurses' interventions were heavily influenced by ethnic and class biases, according to today's standards. However, although BNS nurses lacked public accountability because they worked for a private organization, there is no evidence that their practices differed substantively from their Department of Health colleagues. Implications for Nursing Practice and Knowledge Development: The social processes by which explanations for disease emerge are historically and culturally specific. Many contemporary health care providers believe that the issue of how best to care for patients who cannot pay for their health services or for those do not need acute care, but who are too sick to go home or lack the resources to be cared for appropriately there, is a novel problem, one brought about by new therapeutics, advancing technologies, and the economic turbulence of our late twentieth century health care system. This dilemma, however, has been ongoing in the United States since hospitals began to shift from custodial to curative care in the late nineteenth century. Explicating past successes and failures fosters better differentiation between those practices that are efficacious and those that merely have social or political appeal.en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-27T11:10:24Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-27en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-27T11:10:24Z-
dc.conference.date2002en_US
dc.conference.name14th Annual Scientific Sessionsen_US
dc.conference.hostEastern Nursing Research Societyen_US
dc.conference.locationUniversity Park, Pennsylvania, USAen_US
dc.description.noteThis is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission. Alternatively, please contact the conference host, journal, or publisher (according to the circumstance) for further details regarding this item. If a citation is listed in this record, the item has been published and is available via open-access avenues or a journal/database subscription. Contact your library for assistance in obtaining the as-published article.-
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