History of Nursing's Clinical Specialty Anesthesiology and Career Outlook Information

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History of Nursing's Clinical Specialty Anesthesiology and Career Outlook Information Ether. Who would have thought that a small carbon based organic compound such as ether would spawn a new field of medical specializations, changing the history of medicine for ever. Ether was discovered in 1275 by a Spanish chemist named Raymundus Lullius,(Evans,1995,p 1). It was his discovery that allowed William E. Clark to use ether as an anesthetic for the first time in 1842. He administered the ether on a dental patient for Elijah Pope as he performed a dental extraction on Miss Hobbie,(Evans,1995.p 1). This was the first step in the creation of the field of anesthesia. This new technology was quickly put to use to relieve pain in all…show more content…
The doctors only needed to look up from the operating table and to their assistants in health care to get their answer, it was the nurse. From that moment on the first specialization in clinical nursing was born and those in that specialty were named nurse anesthetists,(Thatcher,1952,p11). The earliest documentation of anesthetic care given to a patient by a nurse was the work done by Sister Mary Bernard in 1887. She was a catholic nun who worked at the St. Vincent hospital in Erie Pennsylvania,(Thatcher,1952,p 12). The nurse anesthetists of that time were trained by physicians at first, but as time went on the nurses took a more active role in the study and research of anesthetics and eventually surpassed their teachers in the field of anesthesiology. This advance led to role reversal, where the teacher became the student and the student became the teacher. By 1909 the first formal educational program designed for nurse anesthetists was started at St. Vincents Hospital in Portland Oregon,(Evans,1995,p 3). Upon graduation from the school, the nurse anesthetists were placed in all sorts of settings. Most impressive were the teaching positions held by nurses in the medical schools of that time. They became the primary instructors of anesthetic to medical students. The nurse anesthetist also held positions in the battlefields. During World War One, the American nurse anesthetist was the primary health giver to troops in the European theaters of

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