'A very valuable fusion of classes': British professional and volunteer nurses of the First World War

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Abstract

Public perceptions of the work of nurses and VAD-volunteers in the First World War have been heavily influenced by a small number of VAD-writings. The work of trained, professional nurses in supporting and supervised the work of VADs has been largely overlooked. This paper examines several of the writings of both volunteers and professionals, and emphasises the overlooked supervisory, managerial and clinical work of trained nurses. In this centenary year of the First World War's opening months, the paper also explores the ways in which the British mass-media - notably the BBC - have chosen to cling to a romantic image of the untrained nurse, whilst at the same time acknowledging the significance of trained, professional nursing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalEndeavour
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

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