Notes on Nursing eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 162 pages of information about Notes on Nursing.
must vary with the figure of the patient.  And tall patients suffer much more than short ones, because of the drag of the long limbs upon the waist.  But the object is to support, with the pillows, the back below the breathing apparatus, to allow the shoulders room to fall back, and to support the head, without throwing it forward.  The suffering of dying patients is immensely increased by neglect of these points.  And many an invalid, too weak to drag about his pillows himself, slips his book or anything at hand behind the lower part of his back to support it.

IX.  LIGHT.

[Sidenote:  Light essential to both health and recovery.]

It is the unqualified result of all my experience with the sick, that second only to their need of fresh air is their need of light; that, after a close room, what hurts them most is a dark room.  And that it is not only light but direct sun-light they want.  I had rather have the power of carrying my patient about after the sun, according to the aspect of the rooms, if circumstances permit, than let him linger in a room when the sun is off.  People think the effect is upon the spirits only.  This is by no means the case.  The sun is not only a painter but a sculptor.  You admit that he does the photograph.  Without going into any scientific exposition we must admit that light has quite as real and tangible effects upon the human body.  But this is not all.  Who has not observed the purifying effect of light, and especially of direct sunlight, upon the air of a room?  Here is an observation within everybody’s experience.  Go into a room where the shutters are always shut, (in a sick room or a bedroom there should never be shutters shut), and though the room be uninhabited, though the air has never been polluted by the breathing of human beings, you will observe a close, musty smell of corrupt air, of air i.e. unpurified by the effect of the sun’s rays.  The mustiness of dark rooms and corners, indeed, is proverbial.  The cheerfulness of a room, the usefulness of light in treating disease is all-important.

[Sidenote:  Aspect, view, and sunlight matters of first importance to the sick.]

A very high authority in hospital construction has said that people do not enough consider the difference between wards and dormitories in planning their buildings.  But I go farther, and say, that healthy people never remember the difference between bed-rooms and sick-rooms, in making arrangements for the sick.  To a sleeper in health it does not signify what the view is from his bed.  He ought never to be in it excepting when asleep, and at night.  Aspect does not very much signify either (provided the sun reach his bed-room some time in every day, to purify the air), because he ought never to be in his bed-room except during the hours when there is no sun.  But the case is exactly reversed with

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Notes on Nursing from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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