History of Nursing - Early Christian Era


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Nursing through primitive societies, Egyptian civilizations, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Hebrew and Indian civilizations.

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History of Nursing - Early Christian Era

  1. 1. II EARLY CHRISTIAN ERA 1- 500 AD ( The ‘religious image’ of the nurse)
  2. 2. In the Pre Christian era, .. <ul><li>The Powerful Romans ill treated the slaves </li></ul><ul><li>All religions were fatalistic in their outlook on illness </li></ul><ul><li>…………………… BUT, </li></ul>
  3. 3. Jesus Christ did not accept illness as a punishment/ necessary evil.. <ul><li>He healed all kinds of diseases </li></ul><ul><li>He brought about ‘altruism’ into religious teachings - </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Do good & expect no reward. Do it for God and to be like him’ </li></ul><ul><li>This is the highest motive given to mankind </li></ul><ul><li>This greatly influenced nursing and raised it to professional standing </li></ul>
  4. 4. With Jesus Christ’s teaching of love and care… <ul><li>Churches established </li></ul><ul><li>Groups organized as orders to care for </li></ul><ul><li>the sick, the poor, orphans, widows, the </li></ul><ul><li>aged, slaves and prisoners </li></ul><ul><li>By Christ's precepts – Men and women made Deacons of equal ranks; greater opportunities for unmarried women; Strict discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Such thoughts carried on for many years characterizing nursing </li></ul><ul><li>Thus charity – LOVE IN ACTION – took root and flourished and expanded into a field of nursing of today </li></ul>
  5. 5. THE APOSTOLIC ORDER OF WOMEN <ul><li>Church taught equality of all men & women </li></ul><ul><li>Women assisted the clergy in the work of the church </li></ul><ul><li>Later 3 orders were developed – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Deaconesses – Practiced ‘works of mercy’ (Feeding, clothing, visiting, caring). Did preaching and teaching. They carried a bag while visiting a house (first fore runner of the visiting nurse’s bag) Phoebe was the first Deaconess and the first Visiting Nurse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(PHN). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The widows and – Actually aged unmarried women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The virgins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By 5 th & 6 th century, their influence weakened, when </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the church decrees removed their duties and ranks </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. EARLY CHRISTIAN HOSPITALS <ul><li>Deacons and deaconesses worked religiously </li></ul><ul><li>They opened their homes to the poor, sick, …anyone (= Diakonia) </li></ul><ul><li>With time they were persecuted </li></ul><ul><li>So they turned to the Bishop for aid. As his house was too small, the Christian ‘xenodochium’ grew up </li></ul><ul><li>= A home for strangers, sick, insane, leprosy affected orphans, aged, travelers </li></ul><ul><li>St Basil hospital in Caesaria </li></ul><ul><li>(Palestine) – Separate area for </li></ul><ul><li>communicable diseases, homes </li></ul><ul><li>for doctors and nurses </li></ul>
  7. 7. ROMAN MATRONS <ul><li>Women of high rank, with freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Gave their wealth to charity and nursing </li></ul><ul><li>Organized groups and funded monasteries and hospitals </li></ul><ul><li>Important Roman matrons – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fabiola – Made the first Public hospital and later a hospice for strangers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marcella – Converted her luxurious home into a monastery. Did instructions, charitable work and prayers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>St Paula – Built monasteries and hospitals. Taught Nursing as an Art, rather than a Service </li></ul></ul>Fabiola