Friday, October 27, 2017

Red Cross Public Health Nurses at Work in United States, 1922

 “Red Cross Winning in Fight for Health,” from the Rockingham Post-Dispatch, October 12, 1922

Better, Stronger Citizenry Now Emerging Out of Work in United States

The American Red Cross as an evangelist of better health has looked its problem square in the face. 

How it accepted the task revealed to it in the nation’s physical condition as brought out during the World War, and conscientiously applied its activities to correct forms a vivid chapter in the forthcoming annual report. Historically and practically, nursing is basic work for the Red Cross. In its public health nursing service, in instruction in home hygiene and care of the sick, nutrition classes, first aid and life saving courses and health centers, the American Red Cross is applying effectually the lessons learned during the war and making for a healthier, stronger and better nourished citizenry.

The task of the Red Cross Public Health nurse in the 1,200 nursing services now operating throughout the country instructing their communities in health essentials and disease prevention is demonstrating the possibilities of human betterment and the great benefits of enlightenment.

During the last year 313 new public health nursing services were established by Red Cross Chapters, and several hundred services so convincingly proved their effectiveness that they were taken over by public authorities. In order to promote this work, $30,000 was allotted to provide women to prepare themselves for public nursing. The home visits made by the 1,240 nurses aggregated nearly 1,500,000, visits to schools numbered 140,000, and in six months 1,250,000 school children were inspected by these nurses and where defects were found advised examination by physicians. In rural communities this service has made a very marked advance and has won thousands of converts to approved methods of disease prevention.

In home hygiene and care of the sick, instruction fits the student in methods of proper care where illness is not so serious as to require professional service, the Red Cross conducted 3,884 classes during the last year, enrolled 2,356 instructors, 98,448 students and issued 42,656 certificates.

On June 30, 1922, nutrition service embraced 1,199 classes, with a total of 27,523 children and 2,589 enrolled dietitians. Seventy-eight food selection classes graduated 733 who received Red Cross certificates. In general health activities, Red Cross Chapters maintained 377 health centers, serving as many communities, provided 38,751 health lectures for large audiences everywhere, while clinics numbered over 10,000.

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