Nurses and midwives in the state sector in Galway
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Abstract Much has been written about the early years of nursing and the emergence of nursing as a profession. This study continues the story of nursing and midwifery after registration and on into Ireland in the post-independence era. Further recognition was given to registered nurses in the way in which census enumerators counted nursing labour in Ireland. This period was also characterised by growing state preoccupation with nursing labour ¿ particularly in the post-war period. Galway was recognised by the Department of Local Government and Public Health (later the Department of Health) as one of the main centres of nursing labour outside Dublin. This study looks at the different way nurses and midwives could be employed in Galway between 1922 and 1970 and the fortunes of nursing nuns, hospital staff nurses, student nurses, specialist nurses ( tuberculosis, maternity and fever nurses) are examined. State-owned hospitals are the focus of this study and include the Central Hospital Galway (later the Regional Hospital Galway), Woodlands Sanatorium and the Western Regional Sanatorium Merlin Park. The fortunes of outdoor nurses (dispensary midwives, Public Health Nurses) are discussed in the context of changes to the outdoor nursing service, particularly in the 1950¿s. This thesis looks at the fortunes of these different groups of nurses under three headings: training, working lives and unrest.