Linda Richards Introduction Linda Richards, America’s first and professional trained nurse has transformed her profession, bringing the work of nursing from menial chores to the great caregiving profession of today. She first got her experience in nursing when she was dealing with her dying mother; which was a very awakening experience to Linda, because during this time, she cared for her until her death. Linda's training as a nurse began under the supervision of Doc Currier, the family’s physician. From him, she received medical knowledge and some proper training. Despite her interest in nursing, in 1856 at age 15, she enrolled in St. Johnsbury to be trained as a teacher. Richards taught for several years, but was never happy in that profession. After teaching and a couple of personal losses, she then decided that she wanted to work as a nurse. Linda moved to Boston and took a job at Boston City Hospital to take a job as an assistant nurse. Here, she received little to no training, and was treated like a maid rather than the nurse she wanted to be. She left 3 months later due to poor health. Linda noticed an advertisement for a nurse-training program to be offered at the New England Hospital for Women and Children. She was one of five women to sign up for a nurse-training program at the New England Hospital for Women and Children. Linda Richards was the program's first graduate in 1873. Career After graduation, she moved to New York city, where she was hired as night supervisor at Bellevue Hospital. At Bellevue Linda created a system for charting and maintaining individual medical records for each patient. This was the first written reporting system for nurses which even the famous Nightingale System adopted. This system has become widely adopted in the United States as well as United Kingdom. By 1874 Linda was ready to take over the Boston Training School. She returned to Boston and was named superintendent of the Boston Training School for nurses. Though the school's training program was only a year old at the time, it was under threat of closure due to poor management. Eventually, it became regarded as one of the best nursing programs in the country. Wanting more skills, Richards took an intensive, seven-month nurse training program in England in 1877. She studied at St. Thomas's Hospital in London, where she was able to spend some time with Florence Nightingale, widely regarded as the founder of modern nursing. At Nightingale's suggestion, she studied at King's College Hospital and the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in Scotland. She returned to Boston in 1878 to work at the Boston College Hospital where she established a nurse training school. Following some health problems brought on by overwork, Linda used her experience to establish the first nurse-training program in Japan. She began in 1886, at first working through an interpreter. She stayed in Japan for 5 years before returning to America. Linda Richards continued to establish nurse training programs and schools in Philadelphia, Massachusetts and Michigan. Goals and Accomplishments Linda Richards has really made an impact on nursing. she was first trained nurse in America, She led the way for American nurses and set up a few nursing programs. She was one of the ones who tackled problems head on. Richards set up schools at many hospitals and taught Florence Nightingale’s nursing method and also set up the first nursing program in Japan. She received the first diploma awarded by the nation's first school of nursing and purchased the first share of stock in the American Journal of Nursing Company in 1900. She brought nurses into the mainstream of the profession and at the same time changed the focus of the profession to include the care of the mentally ill. Conclusion She has trained many nurses, and inspired them to do great along the way. Because of her, she made it possible for many nurses to get in the program they are in today, and trained them to teach others to get the skills they need. Linda Richards was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY. Her portrait hangs in the lobby of the Canton-Potsdam Hospital, just a few miles from where America's first trained nurse was born. Resources American Association for the History of Nursing (2007) Linda A. J. Richards 1841 - 1930, http://www. aahn. org/gravesites/richards. html Faqs. org, (2010), Linda Richards Biography (1841-1930), http://www. faqs. org/health/bios/0/Linda-Richards. html Journal of Nursing Scholarships, (2007), As Well as Cared for Linda Richards and The Mentally Ill, http://onlinelibrary. wiley. com/doi/10. 1111/j. 1547-5069. 1984. tb01385. x/pdf
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