Editor's note: From its first issue in 1900 through to the present day, AJN has unparalleled archives detailing nurses’ work and lives over more than a century. These articles not only chronicle nursing's growth as a profession within the context of the events of the day, but also reveal prevailing societal attitudes about women, health care, and human rights. Today's nursing school curricula rarely include nursing's history, but it's a history worth knowing. To this end, From the AJN Archives highlights articles selected to fit today's topics and times.
This month's article, from the September 1908 issue, describes the nursing management of shock and hemorrhage. Hospital nurses are instructed to employ measures that today would be described as prehospital first aid. The author (a “Graduate of Bellevue Hospital, New York”) directs the nurse to “work quickly and quietly, dismiss every one from the room who cannot be of intelligent assistance, and… in no way impart to the patient the serious nature of his or her condition.” More than a century later, nursing interventions for shock are considerably more intense and complex, as illustrated in the feature article in this issue, “Assessing Patients During Septic Shock Resuscitation.”