Nursing services in the Rockhampton district, 1911 - 1957

Madsen, Wendy Lee (2005) Nursing services in the Rockhampton district, 1911 - 1957. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Throughout the twentieth century, nursing services gradually moved from being located within the community to being concentrated in institutions, such as hospitals. The aim of this thesis is to identify those nursing services that existed within the Rockhampton region from 1911 to 1957; to document the evolution of the services; and to explore those factors that influenced this evolution. In particular, an emphasis is placed on social and political factors. The nursing services explored in this thesis include private duty nursing, private hospitals, church and charity facilities, public hospitals and public community services. These services represent most nursing opportunities during the first half of the twentieth century. However, this thesis takes a unique position by exploring all services in detail within a limited location. In order to accomplish this, an empirical historical method is utilised, based on a wide range of documentary primary sources drawn from archival collections relating to Rockhampton and the nursing profession.

By examining a limited geographical area, this thesis highlights the complexity of nursing in regards to who nursed, how nursing was practiced and what factors influenced nursing. A particular feature that emerges within this thesis is the important role untrained nurses played within nursing services throughout the period under review. This group dominated private duty nursing and lying-hospitals in the Rockhampton region, although were gradually restricted to facilities for the aged and chronically ill. Trained nurses also became more institutionalised throughout the period, gradually losing former levels of autonomy as they gained more controlled working conditions, wages and career structures. Finally, this thesis highlights variations in nursing services between metropolitan and regional areas of Queensland.

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ID Code: 16115
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Barnard, Alan, Ianziti, Gary, & Cryle, Denis
Keywords: nursing, nursing services, regional Australia, history
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Department: Faculty of Health
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Wendy Lee Madsen
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:56
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:43

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