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 they 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 appeared in the September 1943 issue, and reported on the spring flooding that had ravaged several midwestern states. Rebecca M. Pond of the Red Cross noted that during the floods, nurses worked in “hutments and barracks in [the] Army airport, unused factory buildings, college buildings, town and rural school houses, Boy Scout camps, abandoned CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps] camps, and an annex to a state hospital.” The nursing care provided sounds like nursing in today's disaster shelters: providing health assessments, immunizations, and emergency care; maintaining isolation precautions where needed; monitoring prenatal women, infants, young children, and the elderly or ill; and supervising housekeeping and sanitation services.
In recent years, the United States has experienced particularly severe flooding and other disasters precipitated by climate change. In this month's issue, Cara Cook and colleagues explore the many ways in which today's nurses can help to prevent (and not only ameliorate) the effects of a changing climate.