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An engaging study of the dilemmas faced by American nursing, which examines the ideology, practice, and efforts at reform of both trained and untrained nurses in the years between 1850 and 1945. Ordered to Care provides an overall history of nursing's development and places that growth within the context of new questions raised by women's history and the social history of health care. Building upon extensive use of primary and quantitative data, the author creates a collective portrait of nursing, from the work of the individual nurse to the political efforts of its organizations. Dr. Reverby contends that nursing's contemporary difficulties are caused by its historical obligation to care in a society that refuses to value caring. She examines the historical consequences of this critical dilemma and concludes with a discussion of why nursing will have to move beyond its obligation to care, and what the implications of this change would be for all of us.
Examines nursing as an example of the politicization of women's work culture in a society that devalues caring.
List of tables and figures; Acknowledgments; Introduction: the dilemma of caring; Part I. The Nurse and the Hospital Before Training: 1. 'Professed' nursing: from duty to trade; 2. Chaos and order in hospital nursing; Part II. The Trained Nurse: An Apprentice to Duty: 3. Character as skill: the ideology of discipline; 4. Training as work: the pupil nurse as hospital machine; 5. 'Strangers to Boston': who becomes a nurse; 6. Nursing as work: divisions in the occupation; Part III. The 'Re-Forming' of Nursing: 7. Professionalization and its discontents; 8. Nursing efficiency as the link between service and science; 9. The limits of 'collaborative relationships'; 10. Great transformation, small change; Conclusion; Appendix; Notes; Note on sources; Select bibliography of primary sources; Index.