My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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ALBANY, N.Y. —I wonder if you have been thinking as much as I have these past few weeks about the usual winter epidemic of deaths from pneumonia? When I was a child I remember hearing over and over again, that one of the most important factors in pneumonia was the nursing care which the patient received. I know, of course, that there are types of this dread disease in which recovery is practically hopeless. But the old saying still holds good, nursing in pneumonia and all other diseases is of great importance to the patient.

A doctor may diagnose a case accurately, he may give his orders carefully, but if they are not carried out skillfully and conscientiously, the patient will suffer.

In the course of my life I have seen a great deal of nursing and it has been my good fortune to have been associated with many excellent nurses. One, Miss Blanche Spring, was for many years a constant help in time of trouble, a friend and, for me, a great educational factor. I liked the work in a sick room but I knew very little about the way in which it should be done until Miss Spring came to me. Her standards were high and she taught me a great deal. The best thing I learned was the difference between a really well trained nurse and one whose training was inadequate or whose temperament was unfitted to the work she had to do.

I am glad that in many states we are at last realizing the fact that an eight hour day is long enough for any trained nurse in charge of a patient who is critically ill. I am glad also that we are beginning to realize the necessity of registering in a manner which will clearly indicate the training and capacity of those who care for the sick.

There should be no such thing as unclassified nursing. All nurses should be registered professional nurses and this should indicate adequate training. Those who are needed for chronic and convalescent cases and who do not require the same type of training, should be registered under another name so that they could show their papers as well as the professional registered nurses. That public able to pay for professional care, should know exactly what it is getting and should be protected from inadequate training.

Any mother with small children to raise, or with invalids in her family, will realize what this will mean in peace of mind and in the bolstering up of her own courage when she is tired and uncertain of what should be done for her patients.

Mrs. Scheider and I are in Albany today for the meeting of a group of state officials of the National Youth Administration. I cannot help keeping a special interest in my own state, and so I am anxious to hear of the work that is being done and the plans for the future. I feel much of this work should eventually become a permanent program under existing organizations.


(Copyright, 1938, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Albany (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 25, 1938

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.