1918 Redux: Supportive Nursing Care for the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Courageous Care

Patricia D’Antonio, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

The following is an excerpt from a recent guest post by Barbara Bates Center Director Patricia D’Antonio, PhD, RN, FAAN, on Off the Charts, the blog of the American Journal of Nursing


The lessons of the past.

As we struggle to make sense of unfolding data, announcements, and public health directives about the current coronavirus pandemic, appreciating the lessons from past pandemics can help us understand the effectiveness and challenges related to quarantines and social isolation, as well as the need for reliable and timely communications.

In times of public health uncertainty, nurses and nursing care have played a critical role in saving lives and relieving suffering. We now know a great deal about the role of nursing during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some lessons need heeding now…

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New Opium Epidemics, Old Problems: Ellen La Motte and the Anti-Opium Crusade

By Lea Williams, PhD

In his 2014 State of the State address, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin devoted significant attention to the growing epidemic of opioid addiction in his state where the number of deaths from heroin overdoses doubled between 2012 and 2013 with a 770% increase in treatment for opiate addiction from 2000-2013. This situation continues to play out across the country with numerous news stories highlighting the contemporary heroin problem. Continue reading

In Honor of Nurses Week – The Stethoscope: A Tool of Nurses’ Trade since the 1930s

By Lydia Wytenbroek, York University 

Last September, the Miss America competition’s talent portion featured Kelley Johnson, Miss Colorado, a registered nurse, who appeared on stage wearing nurses’ scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck. Johnson’s talent was delivery of a monologue about her experience caring for Joe, a patient with Alzheimer ’s disease. In a competition where the majority of contestants choose to enact a song or dance, Johnson’s performance stood out as unique. But it was comments made about Johnson’s monologue the following day by the co-hosts of ABC’s The View which hurled Johnson, and the nursing profession, into the public spotlight. Continue reading

Are Women Really Qualified for That? 100 Years Ago, Army Nurses Faced Similar Doubts

By Marian Moser Jones, PhD

The U.S. debate over the integration of women into military combat roles, recently reignited by the Army’s April 15th announcement that it has selected 22 women as infantry officers, may seem to be covering new territory in the gender wars. But underlying the debate is an enduring question that resurfaces again and again in widely different contexts: are women really qualified for that?

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Is poverty a crime? (The Public’s Health)

A SEPTA police officer takes Jeremiyah, 2, to CHOP after he was found wandering around LOVE Park late on Oct. 16, 2015. BILL NEWBOLD

By Cynthia Connolly, Kara Finck, Debra Schilling Wolfe and Cindy W. Christian

One story in Philadelphia recently captured a lot of attention. Just before midnight on a Friday two weeks ago, a SEPTA police officer found 2-year-old Jeremiyah wandering in LOVE Park, alone. He had no shoes and no coat, despite the fact it was one of the coldest nights of the fall season thus far. The officer contacted the city Department of Human Services; a worker took Jeremiyah to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for evaluation and subsequently placed him in foster care. A few hours later his parents, Michael Jones and Angelique Roland, who had been sleeping in a cardboard box with Jeremiyah and his 4-year-old sister, Malaysia, woke up. The parents panicked when they realized Jeremiyah was missing and contacted authorities. Within a few hours, Malaysia, too, was in the city’s care.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/public_health/Is-poverty-a-crime.html#2KPUgYThqyKrTVRs.99