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Type: Journal article
Title: Gender and nursing in colonial Victoria, 1840-1870
Author: Pearson, A.
Taylor, B.
Citation: International history of nursing journal : IHNJ, 1996; 2(1):25-45
Publisher: Nursing Standard Publications
Issue Date: 1996
ISSN: 1360-1105
Statement of
A. Pearson, B. Taylor
Abstract: The role of the nurse in health care has been the subject of a debate over time which engages with the ambiguity about the role of the nurse, the boundaries of nursing work, and the question of the status of women and men within the profession. In this paper we report on a historical analysis of the nature of nursing work in colonial Victoria, Australia, which was undertaken in order to understand how the nursing role evolved and was socially constructed in early Australia. A significant absence of accounts of nurses between 1840 and 1870, and a lack of comparative analysis of male and female roles in nursing care in this period, suggested a need to reveal some of the social, political and economic influences on the delineation of nursing work and the relevance of these factors to the relationships between hospital staff. The study adopted three strategies or methods. First, the scattered and diffuse references to the origin and development of the role and function of the nurse in this were collated, particularly identifying nursing duties and the existing division of labour. Following this, hospital administrative structures were analysed. Finally, an interpretive methodology of textual analysis was employed and the portrayal of nursing in a number of texts, including hospital histories, annual reports and contemporary literature were examined. This provided us with a socio-cultural and historical perspective on the nature of nursing work in early Victoria.
Keywords: Humans
Gender Identity
History, 19th Century
Nursing Staff, Hospital
Rights: Copyright status unknown
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 2
Nursing publications

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