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JAMA 100 Years Ago
March 12, 2003


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(10):1320. doi:10.1001/jama.289.10.1320-a

The trained nurses in a New York hospital recently struck and left the institution badly in confusion for a time. By aid from other hospitals the trouble was tided over without serious consequences, but the occurrence is an unfortunate one and does not tend to elevate the opinion of the profession as regards the strikers. The affair curiously paralleled certain labor union strikes. The alleged or apparent cause was the introduction among them of a non-diplomaed assistant who had not, or was not entitled to wear, the nurse's uniform, and it is alleged that when they left, the striking nurses or some among them destroyed records, mixed up medicines, deranged glasses and bottles and concealed keys of instrument cases. The only thing apparently lacking was the picketing of the hospital and slugging, or perhaps hair pulling and scratching of their substitutes. Next to the physician's, the nurse's should be an altruistic profession, but these particular nurses seem to have had a very low ideal of their duties and status. It is to be hoped that the action of these nurses will not be imitated by others, but that, if the facts are as charged, they will be promptly condemned and repudiated by their associates.

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