AUGUST 29, 1953
NEW YORK, Friday—Mrs. Walter Ferguson had a column yesterday in the paper which advised that young girls be taught the art of home nursing. She cited the fact that there is a great shortage of nurses and that trained nurses are not only difficult to get but, while they deserve the pay which they receive as private nurses, many people find it almost impossible to meet the cost of a private nurse.
Therefore, says Mrs. Ferguson, why don't we remember that years ago there were no telephones, sometimes there were no doctors, let alone trained nurses within miles.
I can think of cases where there were no doctors within 100 miles, and while I feel sure there were deaths because of lack of care and knowledge, still a great many mothers managed to pull their children through illnesses which today would probably call for a family doctor plus a couple of specialists.
I think today where doctors are available it is well to consult them, but there is no question that more home nursing could be taught and could be used to advantage by every woman who has a family and who wants to carry out a doctor's orders skillfully and exactly. I remember years ago being surprised to find how many young women did not know how to read a clinical thermometer or how to syringe an ear for a child who had earache, and many small home remedies seemed to be unknown to the modern young mother who had not had the advantage of a grandmother's training. I am all for modern training and modern ways of doing things, but I am not for discarding what was good in the old days and helped us to greater independence.
This morning I had a visit at the office of the American Association for the United Nations from a lady representing the Greater New York Council for Foreign Students. She told me of the study they hope to make of the needs of foreign students in the New York City area. I am delighted that this study is to be made because I think it would be possible to help these students more even than we do now to get the kind of training they should get and to make the most of their time in the United States. In addition, I think we can acquaint them better with the life of the family in the U.S. and give them a better understanding of our kind of democracy.
Later I visited the telephone rooms at the United Jewish Appeal. Two or three days a week volunteers come in and use the telephones to appeal to people they know, and even those they do not know, in order to raise funds. This is done by a great many people and I was astonished to find how many there are who are willing to give up their time to do this work.