Recruitment Of A Female Nurse

1500 Words6 Pages
In the North attempts were made to organize nurses and in June 1861 Dorothea Dix was put in charge of recruiting nurses for military hospitals, first in Washington and later other areas. Dix, like the rest of society, had some very strong ideas about what a nurse should and shouldn’t be and in a document dated July 14, 1862 she specified those ideas. No candidate for service in the Women’s Department for nursing in the military hospitals of the United States, will be received below the age of thirty-five years, (35) nor above fifty. Only women of strong health, not subjects of chronic disease, nor liable to sudden illnesses, need apply. The duties of the station make large and continued demands on strength. Matronly persons of…show more content…
In the field there were no regular hospitals, nurses cared for injured soldiers in railway cars, tents, open fields, and abandoned buildings. They were like soldiers, they ate the same food, slept in tents, endured rough weather, and came under fire from the enemy. Nurse Clara Barton was nearly shot on the battlefield, a bullet sliced through her shirt sleeve before hitting and killing the soldier she was caring for. Many of these nurses risked their lives, the Sisters of Mercy were known to run out on the battle field when bullets were still flying. Nursing, whether in the field or in hospitals, was not easy and it took a toll physically and emotionally, periodic furloughs were common and some had to resign. Writer Louisa May Alcott had to resign her nursing position after becoming sick, she contracted typhoid fever. These strong women experienced horrible things, but many refused to give up and they saved countless lives. Which seems fitting, the main reason that women became nurses was their desire to help. Did women act as spies and smugglers? There was another group of women who put their lives and in many cases their reputations at risk to help during the war. These women worked as spies, smugglers, couriers, and guides. As in other areas, the exact number of women that served in this capacity for the North and South during the war is
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