Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I found these Rules for a Sick Room in The Circle of Useful Knowledge by Charles Kinsley (self published in 1877), and I thought it might interest our readers. (Please note last sentence, which I thought pretty funny.)

Keep the patient and all about him perfectly clean, and secure as far as possible pure air. The chamber should be ventilated at least once a day, or twice if it can be borne. The bed-clothes should be carried out into the open air, if it is dry; if not, into the next room; and if the patient is unable to sit up meanwhile, let them be supplied by others. Keep the room quiet and in perfect order. Let the sick be addressed in a gentle voice, and the conversation, if any is admitted, be pleasant and cheering. The nurse and friends should express sympathy with the sufferer, but at the same time seek to inspire courage, and patience to endure. All vials and powders should be labelled to prevent fatal mistakes. The bed should be made at least once per day, and if the patient can bear it twice. Carry the beds into the open air, or if damp into another room. Keep the skin clean by daily ablutions; change the garments frequently and rinse the mouth often. A nurse should be of pleasant, agreeable, persuasive and even temper, with great patience to bear with the whims and unreasonable fretfulness that often appear in the sick. Never dispute with a very sick person, nor reprove him for any seeming inconsistency. Remember that he is hardly a responsible being.  


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