JULY 2, 1949
HYDE PARK, Friday—Now that I am really home in the country I have decided to try and do a few things around my own bailiwick.
Yesterday noon I went down to the Vassar Brothers Hospital Advisory Council meeting. It was lovely having a buffet lunch out under the trees and seeing so many people from all over the country who were anxious to hear how the hospital was getting on. Like many other private hospitals it had a deficit last year, but the budget is looking better this year since there has been organized a group of people who are to be members of the hospital and who will make a financial donation regularly every year.
The hospital administrator from Albany said some wonderful things about the hospital, its efficiency, its excellent staff and its good nursing school. The hospital has been handicapped by not having a building for the nurses where they could live together and have classrooms and a proper auditorium and a place for some kind of entertainment. And it's difficult to attract young women who work as hard as nurses do and at such irregular hours and not give them decent living quarters and a chance to have a good time now and then without too much effort. The head of the nursing school stressed this and I was glad to hear her do so. I think we take too much for granted in the nursing field. In the smaller hospitals outside of New York City the pay is not as high as in the city, but that does not mean that the training is any less good. And I think these smaller hospitals would attract very good student nurses if the living conditions were as pleasant as they should be.
It is much nicer to be part of a small community than a big city, I think, and a nurse has more of a personal relationship with her patients in a small hospital and can make a better life for herself in her free time than she can in a big city like New York, where, of necessity, the hospitals must be more impersonal no matter how efficient they are. In spite of the wealth of entertainment available in a big city, a nurse may be very lonely. Many of them come from small towns where they knew the people living near them and where they were part of the community life. I think that is something everyone values no matter what their job may be.
After the reports on the hospital were given, several plaques, which are to be put up in commemoration of the services given by various citizens of the city of Poughkeepsie and the county, were dedicated.
It is interesting to find how often the same names come up. Mr. and Mrs. H.H. Flagler always have been good citizens of this community and the Smith Brothers, who are best known in the country for their cough drops, and in the vicinity for their excellent restaurant on Market Street, have been among our best citizens for many years. Mr. B.B. Smith was there to take pride in the commemoration of his father's services, his father having served both on the Board of Trustees and as president of the hospital for many years. In our smaller cities certain families seem to go on serving the community through generations.