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~ Kathy M.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sepia Saturday #103: Sacred Heart General Hospital Nursing School

It is that time of the week again, time for Sepia Saturday!   I try to join in each week, sharing a bit of history with you about either my family or parts of Oregon that interest me.  This week, it was very easy for me to be on theme as the theme is nurses on the go.  My Mom, Jolene Johnson, is a registered nurse who graduated from nursing school at Sacred Heart General Hospital in Eugene, Oregon in 1958.  After a decade or so of working at the hospital, she transferred to the company's Home Health Department, where she worked until her retirement.  After retirement, Mom went on medical mission trips to Guatemala eleven times with Cascade Medical Teams.  Currently, she is a parish nurse at her church.  Once a nurse, always a nurse, it seems to me.  Thanks, Mom, for all you have done to help others throughout your life. 

Below, the lovely ladies are proudly holding their diplomas.  In the midst of studying for her nursing license, Mom (Jolene) got married and had me.  I enlarged these so you can see them better, so please scroll all the way over to the right so that you can see Mom:

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I always loved her cape.  I'm sure it is still hanging in her bedroom closet.  Those nursing caps and uniforms were a sign of honer, but those caps must have been a pain to stay on.  The bobby pins that held them down were white, the uniforms were white, their shoes and stockings were white.  Now when you go to the hospital, everybody wears scrubs and you can't tell who is who!

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

Everybody signed their names on the back of the picture above.  Of course, this was Mom's copy, so I don't see her signature:

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

As I was looking around the internet for a bit of information and photos about historical Sacred Heart, I really didn't find much.  I did find this neat collection of sepia photos of nurses around the Pacific Northwest though:  Flicker Page: PNW Nursing Photos.  

Over time, Sacred Heart General Hosptial became part of the PeaceHealth Medical Group.  Here is a page on their website sharing the first 75 years of the company's history:
PeaceHealth Celebrates 75 Years: Historical Timeline

I also came across this interesting bit of information about The Nightengale Pledge , which is essentially the nurses oath.  

The Nightingale Pledge was composed by Lystra Gretter, an instructor of nursing at the old Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and was first used by its graduating class in the spring of 1893.  It is an adaptation of the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians. 

"I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician, in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care."

As a side bit, I also found a voice recording of Florence Nightingale on You Tube. Pretty neat stuff: 

I hope that you enjoyed this bit of Oregon history, along with a bit of my family history.  Happy Sepia Saturday!

Kathy M.

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Kat Mortensen said...

What a great Sepia Saturday post, Kathy! That is a fantastic photo of all the nurses. I don't have any nurses in my family on either side - only teachers!

It was cool to hear the voice of Florence Nightingale. I think Edith Evans was made a Dame, if I'm not mistaken. That's a really fascinating record label too.

Nice work!

L. D. Burgus said...

This is a great post. I like seeing all the nurses in their style of dress for that era. Thanks for sharing it all.

Arkansas Patti said...

You do favor your Mom. Interesting that she graduated nursing school a year after I graduated high school.
I still think of that manner of dress when I think of a nurse. Then I am brought back to earth when I see all the scrubs.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Very cool. I had forgotten about those nurse uniforms! You're right, those are long gone. They all wear scrubs now. Nice memories. :)

KathyB. said...

So interesting. I had forgotten that not so very long ago nurses held honor and service in high esteem , and also that they wore hats & uniforms, but scrubs do seem much more practical & comfortable. Love the recording of Florence Nightingale! You are deservedly proud of your mom.Good bit of history, thank-you.

Bob Scotney said...

Fortunately UK nurses still wear uniforms but it's a job to know what the different colours mean.
This is a fantastic post with fine photos of the nurses' groups, interesting links and Nightingale at the end. One to remember.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

What an incredible share. Such a wonderful post. I loved reading about your mother and her devotion to her career and heart of gold to be so unselfish and giving.

The nurse uniforms back in our youth...quite a thing of the past. Kinda wish we could go back in time after viewing this post...don't you?

A link to my Friday post: Part 1 of our Road Trip

Hope you have a lovely weekend.

Wendy said...

Great post and photos. You are so right about scrubs. When my mom was in the hospital once, I went to get some help for her. The first person I saw in scrubs turned out to be someone in housekeeping. Yeah, scrubs are cute and colorful, but they lack the dignity of the starched white and cape.

Little Nell said...

I really enjoyed this post Kathy. The pictures of your Mom are lovely. I like the way they all stand with the cape thrown back over one shoulder. It was good to hear that your mom continued in this caring profession. Mine was called up into the army where her secretarial skills were favoured over her nursing skills. The Nightingale recording was strangely haunting in its own way too.

Jessa Irene said...

Wow, how amazing to find Florence nitengales voice. She was so amazing!! The photos of your mom are such a treasure!

Postcardy said...

I remember when nurses dressed like that. My mother wasn't a nurse, but she like to wear "nurses' oxfords" because she had bad feet. That was before athletic shoes were available.

Kim, USA said...

Oh my Kathy I so love the photos of your mom. I didn't know they have cape, but the new nurses now they don't have cape but the they still have the candles. I wonder why they took out the cape. And by the way they don't wear a cap and a white uniform now, I like the old uniform though. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Great pictures Kathy. My mum was a nurse in the late 1950's in Scotland and she also had a cape. If I had it now, I'd probably wear it! Jo

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

I love seeing your mother's photos in her uniform. I think it's such a shame they don't wear the same sort of thing these days.

Karen S. said...

Oh this is a great post...and of course her uniform is still hanging in her just can't get rid of that! I had to chuckle with that rare and wonderful (my dogs began to bark at hearing it) at Florence in the 1890 video!

Anonymous said...

I just love the photo with their capes and candles!

Alan Burnett said...

There is something so professional about them - the capes the obvious pride in their achievements : a pride which is well deserved. And the bonus of Florence Nightingale : somehow the idea of her voice having been recorded seems amazing.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Thanks, everybody, I am glad that you enjoyed this post and let me know. :>)

Liz Stratton said...

The pictures of the nurses in their uniforms bring back memories of candy-stripers! What a great collection of photographs with Florence Nightingale thrown in too!


Fun post!!
Pity thought the crease had to fall on your mom...
I remember those caps!!
well, "cap" actually, as when I started working at St Luke hospital in 1987, there was only one nurse wearing one of those. She worked at the nursery, I believe, in a most traditional uniform, and that cap perched on top of her very elaborate chignon.


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