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Who cared for the carers?A history of the occupational health of nurses, 1880-1948$
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Debbie Palmer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090875

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090875.001.0001

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(p.159) 6 Conclusion
Who cared for the carers?

Debbie Palmer

Manchester University Press

The conclusion argues that the health care of nurses was comparable to other workers, which, on the whole, had also been neglected. The risks of nursing had been widely discussed from the late nineteenth century onwards but the state had failed to regulate any provision of care. The health of nurses was always taken seriously but the professionalisation of nursing failed to address nurses’ health problems. Nurse leaders downplayed the occupational risks of nursing long after the Registration Act of 1919 and struggled to escape vocational ideology. Debates about nurses’ health obscured the issue by focussing on power, discipline, gender and class rather than identifying what it was about the work that produced a risk of illness.

Keywords:   Care of nurses, Discipline, Gender, Class, Registration Act of 1919, Risk of illness, professionalisation

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