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Hospitals Today

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Hospitals Today vs. Hospitals 100 years ago
Christy A. Hacker
Beckfield College

Have you ever broken a bone? Given birth to a child? Been rushed to a hospital in the back of an ambulance? Gotten a call in the middle of the night that a loved one has been hurt? Chances are in your lifetime at some point you will come in contact with a hospital. As you sit waiting and watching have you ever wondered just how hospitals came to be and how modern technology has evolved into that exact moment? Are the procedures the exact same as 100 years ago? Has technology really changed the way things are done…. and has it changed for the better or worse?
Hospitals in the United States of America emerged from almshouses that provided care and custody for the ailing poor. Rooted in this tradition of charity, one of the 1st noted hospital opened in 1736. Bellevue Hospital in New York City was home to a 6 bed ward. The hospital as we know it today started to emerge about 60 years ago, beginning around the time of the civil war. The war itself kicked off the need for professional nursing, specialized departments and services. Doctors were in high demand. But was technology keeping up with the growing need for medical attention?
Let’s look at how a setting a broken bone has changed over the years. The early writings of Hippocrates suggest that wooden splints were used to immobilize the bone. The ancient Greeks were known to use waxes and paste to create stiff bandages. Arabians were known to use sea shells and egg whites to stiffen bandages. During the Civil War amputations were common place to keep infections down. Open, dirty wounds were prone to gangrene in the battlefield.
Hiram Winnett Orr is one of 3 credited with the invention of the modern day cast. During WWI he worked with a gentleman named Dr. Alexis Carrel together they pioneered wound care with the idea that without...

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