Pauline English.Pauline Johnson Emily Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) (10 March, 1861 – 7 March, 1913), commonly known as E. Pauline Johnson or just Pauline Johnson, was a Canadian writer and performer. was born in Newton County just south of the then small town of Covington, Georgia. Elementary education in Covington in 1910 included grades 1-7, and high school was four years. Pauline's mother, Cleo McCart Johnson, knew that in their small rural community there would be little opportunity for her daughter who had excelled in school and graduated Cum Laude. So she encouraged her to enroll in nursing school at Davis Fischer Sanitarium sanitarium /san·i·tar·i·um/ (-tar´e-um) an institution for the promotion of health.
See sanatorium. (now Crawford Long Hospital of Emory University) in Atlanta, Georgia, where a friend had attended. A previous trip to Atlanta was memorable in Pauline's memory. When she was only three she was bitten by a "mad" dog, and was rushed to Atlanta for treatment that consisted of injections every day for 21 days at the Pasteur Clinic on Luckie Street. She vividly remembered the train ride with her mother who held the bag that contained the head of the dog, as it was needed in testing it for rabies rabies (rā`bēz, ră`–) or hydrophobia (hī'drəfō`bēə), acute viral infection of the central nervous system in dogs, foxes, raccoons, skunks, bats, and other animals, and in .
In 1922 Davis Fischer Sanitarium had two buildings with three floors in each. Each floor consisted of 25 patient beds. Student nurses (approximately 75 in three classes) did all the work, as there were only three registered nurses to cover the hospital with its approximately 150 beds, the superintendent, and her two assistants. There were two other registered nurses, one to teach the students and one to supervise the operating room operating room
n. Abbr. OR
A room equipped for performing surgical operations. . At that time doctors taught many of the nursing classes. When Pauline was a senior, she recalled it was an honor that she was selected as one of the head nurses. She recalled night duty as very stressful when one student would have 20 patients under her care. Critically ill patients might have an additional student providing their private duty care. Private duty consisted of a 12-hour shift, either day or night, or 24-hour duty that consisted of being off from 1-5 p.m. each day, and having a cot in the patient's room to rest at night if there was opportunity. There was also a float nurse that could be called to help at night, but she had to cover the entire hospital. One horrendous assignment Pauline recalled was providing private duty for a student nurse who had contracted diphtheria diphtheria (dĭfthēr`ēə), acute contagious disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae (Klebs-Loffler bacillus) bacteria that have been infected by a bacteriophage. It begins as a soreness of the throat with fever. (usually all contagious disease contagious disease
See communicable disease. patients were sent to the Contagious Hospital near Grady Hospital). Both she and the patient were isolated for two weeks, she in an adjoining room with the bathroom between them. She was given antitoxin antitoxin, any of a group of antibodies formed in the body as a response to the introduction of poisonous products, or toxins. By introducing small amounts of a specific toxin into the healthy body, it is possible to stimulate the production of antitoxin so that the , but added, "I was sick as the patient, but they didn't let on like I was sick." Students were also sent with doctors to perform surgery in homes. She related two such incidents. The first was to Mansfield, Georgia to assist with a laparotomy laparotomy /lap·a·rot·o·my/ (-rot´ah-me) incision through the flank or, more generally, through any part of the abdominal wall.
1. on a Sunday morning where "the whole warehouse porch was completely filled with people to watch it" Another time she was part of the team that went to Douglasville, Georgia where two doctors performed an appendectomy Appendectomy Definition
Appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix. The appendix is a worm-shaped hollow pouch attached to the cecum, the beginning of the large intestine. on a patient placed on the dining room table. The operating room supervisor, Miss Barbin, sat in the corner of the room making sure the students performed correctly in assisting the doctors with the surgery. For their unrelenting hard work students were paid ten dollars a month. Most of this money went for books, or shoes and stockings. (Pauline's mother had made her uniforms prior to entering school.) Room, board, and linens were provided, as well as laundry service. Maids kept the common areas clean, but students (two to a room) had to clean their own personal areas. The building they lived in was new with nice furniture in the parlor where there was also a Victrola for playing records. The students would be off 1/2 day each week, but otherwise they were on duty each day for long hours (combining patient care and classes), with only one week's vacation a year. During the time that Pauline was in nursing school (1922-1925) her parents moved to Atlanta Slang for a 404 error on the Web, which is a link to a missing page. The area code for Atlanta, Georgia is 404. See 404 error. near Inman Park. During her four hours off each week, she would go home to see about her mother who was in poor health. The streetcar streetcar, small, self-propelled railroad car, similar to the type used in rapid-transit systems, that operates on tracks running through city streets and is used to carry passengers. ride to and from the hospital to her parent's home took up about half of her time off, leaving only two hours to spend with her mother. Students had to make up time lost during their three years of training, so that when Pauline "graduated" in June 1925, she had to stay on until October 19 to complete her hours. She noted that most students were in this same situation. Her State Board examination date was November 23, 1925. She took the written examination in the State Capital building, and the practical examination at St. Joseph's hospital St. Joseph's Hospital may refer to:
In the United States:
Given her excellent academic and leadership records in both high school and in nursing school, it is not difficult to understand why Pauline would excel throughout her career in nursing. Interestingly, it was the difficult times she and her husband (George W. English George Washington English (May 9, 1866, near Vienna, Illinois - July 1941, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) was a United States District Court judge for the Eastern District of Illinois.
English received an LL.B. from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1891. ) with their two small sons encountered during the early Depression that kept Pauline English working full time her entire 35 years in public health work. She determined that she would always be prepared for hard times if they came along again. She had worked in private duty nursing after graduation, but this was not to her liking, especially when it was in people's homes. Thus, in 1936 she applied for WPA WPA: see Work Projects Administration.
in full Works Progress Administration later (1939–43) Work Projects Administration
U.S. work program for the unemployed. (Work's Progress Administration) work where she was assigned to one of the few coveted cov·et
v. cov·et·ed, cov·et·ing, cov·ets
1. To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another's). See Synonyms at envy.
2. To wish for longingly. See Synonyms at desire. positions available to nurses in public health nursing. With no previous training in that area, she appreciated the on-the-job training she was given. After the Depression, when the WPA ceased to exist, the State public health nursing department, under the leadership of Miss Weaver, took over the nursing work begun by the WPA. At that time most of the work that nurses did centered on schools, and when they did make home visits, they were admonished to, "Make the patient comfortable." Over the next many years, public health work would become much more sophisticated due to classes taught locally, and funds made available to send the nurses for bachelor degrees in public health nursing. English enrolled at Peabody College in Nashville, and even though separated from her family she felt fortunate to be funded for her tuition and travel, and to have her salary continue. After her internship in Birmingham, Alabama she continued her studies at Georgia State University History
Georgia State University was founded in 1913 as the Georgia School of Technology's "School of Commerce." The school focused on what was called "the new science of business. in Atlanta. It was a proud moment for her when in 1958 she received her bachelor's degree in nursing. In looking back on her career, and seeing all the changes in nursing education over the years, she declared she often wished she had been able to earn a master's degree, and perhaps even a doctorate in nursing from an excellent school "such as Emory or Vanderbilt."
In reminiscing about in-service opportunities through the health department, she especially enjoyed going to New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. for one month to study premature infant premature infant Prematurity, premie; preterm infant Obstetrics An infant born before the 37th wk of gestation and after the 20th wk, who weighs 500–2500 g. See Very-low birth weight. care. Her class made observational visits to many hospitals in the greater New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of area, some serving only black patients. It was during this month that she cared for black patients for the first time. When she returned to Atlanta with an abundance of new knowledge, her first assignment was to prepare a manual for premature infant care for the Fulton County Public Health Department. Later as a supervisor over five Fulton County health centers, she worked with both black and white public health nurses and patients. She recalled how she gave encouragement and support to black nurses when they first began visiting white patients in their homes. Her interview is replete with other recollections that show this committed nurse was a lifelong learner, and provided excellent and creative nursing care. Her expertise was not only in the care she provided, but also in training students in public health, and taking on projects that challenged her abilities. She encouraged many students to take up public health work during their 3-month rotations in her department.
Pauline English was appreciative of the nurses who had made a difference in her career. Mentors included Miss Jane Van de Vrede (GNA GNA Ghana News Agency
GNA Globewide Network Academy
GNA Georgia Nurses Association
GNA Galanthus Nivalis Agglutinin
GNA Grand National Alliance (Pakistan)
GNA Greater Nanticoke Area executive secretary, and state public health administrator), Miss Nan Springstead (later Egan, of Emory University School of Nursing with specialization in public health nursing), and several presidents of the Georgia Nurses Association (GNA) during her years as a member. Her service to the GNA spanned many years, and in many roles, first as President of 5th District, and then in positions at the State level. In 1982 she was asked to be the first Historian, a role she continued in exemplary fashion until 1988, when she received Special Recognition from GNA for valued service.
Pauline English's interview reads like a history lesson. Both her grandfathers served in the Civil War, other relatives served in WWI WWI
World War I
WWI World War One , and her father's brother and his wife died of influenza in 1918 in spite of being nursed by Pauline's mother. During WWII WWII
World War II
WWII World War Two , when nurses were in short supply in the state, English, along with most nurses, was required to take Red Cross classes, and then teach in the community. Later, both her sons served in the military, one in the Navy and the other in the Army. Furthermore, Pauline grew up in a rural area on a large farm where most of what the family ate was raised or grown. Children walked to school or church, and when it rained hard, were piled into a horse-drawn covered wagon to get to school. It wasn't until after she became a nurse that English bought a car (the first in her family to do so).
Her career accomplishments were framed within her broader life experiences. She was able to recognize opportunities, and she accepted challenges at every juncture of her life. She declared public health nursing a most satisfying career, largely because of the relationships she had with people. Her story is one of positive reflection, and can serve as strong motivation for those making career decisions today.
Rose Cannon interviewed Pauline English at her home in Union City, Georgia
Union City is a city in Fulton County, Georgia, United States. The population was 11,621 at the 2000 census. on May 8, 1990. The audiotape au·di·o·tape
1. A relatively narrow magnetic tape used to record sound for subsequent playback.
2. A tape recording of sound.
tr.v. and transcription of the interview are located in the "Georgia Public Health Oral History Collection" in Special Collections, Woodruff Library, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Cannon is a member of Georgia Nurses Association and historian.