The Role of Visiting Nurses During the Great Depression
Caring for babies delivered at home during the Great Depression, teaching family members how to care for a sick patient and giving instructions on the prevention of illness was all part of a day in the life of a visiting nurse in the 1930’s. The service cost a dollar an hour for the first hour and fifty cents if the nurse stayed longer.
The Visiting Nurse Service gradually grew until doctors and home folk alike were finding it impossible to be without it by the early 1940’s. Patients began to look forward to the weekly visit of the visiting nurse, not only for providing care but companionship. The role of the nurse included lifting the spirits of the patient as well as caring for their physical needs.