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William Preston Griffin.

Bellevue : a short history of Bellevue Hospital and of the training schools online

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Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Open Knowledge Commons



http://www.archive.org/details/bellevueshorthisOOgrif



BELLEVUE

A SHORT HISTORY OF BELLEVUE

HOSPITAL AND OF THE

TRAINING SCHOOLS



PUBLISHED BY THE

ALUMNAE ASSOCIATION OF BELLEVUE

PENSION FUND COMMITTEE

DECEMBER, 1915



TOD UflRARY



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Copyright, 1915

Alumnae Association of Bellevue

New York City



American Lithographic Co., N. Y.



SDefcicatet)

to the Memory of

MRS. WILLIAM PRESTON GRIFFIN

and

MRS. WILLIAM HENRY OSRORN

In grateful appreciation of their work

in establishing our Training School.



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New Bellevue.





AN ODE TO BELLEVUE.

By
MARY ST. JOHN, R. N.



If your walls could but tell the story,

Of the deeds of those mighty men,
That have traver'st the boards of Rellevue's wards,

T'would a wonderful story pen.

It would tell of their work and the efforts
That were made for the human race;

And of each plan that they made to save man,
By striving disease to efface.

Then again it would tell you of others —

Of that band of women who came,
And who saw indeed the people's great need,

For through them sprang Bellevue's fame.

How they spent both their time and their money,

And made a most glorious fight
Until there now stands a monument grand —

A symbol of wisdom and light.

Then again they would speak of the nurses,

Who never once seemed to tire.
But would work with their might both day and night

To benefit man, their desire.

For this body of earnest, hard workers,
With their heart and soul, and their brain,

Were the part of God's plan found in the van
Of the army, that's lived not in vain.

They would tell how your doors have been opened

To the sick, the sore and the sad,
How the poor and forsaken you've always taken,

And given the best that you've had.

How you've never rebuked nor condemned them

Because they success did not win,
But have unbarred your gate no matter how late,

And always have welcomed them in.

That these walls so soon shall be silenced,

Whose stories must then pass away,
Means a sorrow, this coming to-morrow,

For the ones who know them to-day.

And when in the dust you have been leveled,

Your requiem song has been sung;
In Memory's hall will be found on the wall,

A tablet to Bellevue there hung.



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1816

The oldest picture of Bellevue. It is from an engraving, taken from a design on an old Stafford-
shire platter. The engraving is in the Public Library of New York City.




Bellevue Hospital





Where the City Hall now stands was erected, in 1736, the
building known as the "Publick Workhouse and House of Cor-
rection of the City of New York."

Here, in a room twenty-five by twenty-three feet, on the
upper floor of the building, we find the first trace of Bellevue
Hospital.

Dr. John Van Buren was the first medical officer, with a salary
of £100 a year, out of which he supplied his own medicines.

This house was occupied until 1796, when a new one was
built, directly in the rear of the old building, on what is now the
north side of Chambers Street.

In 1794 the State Government represented to- the City Govern-
ment the necessity of providing some place of isolation for per-
sons afflicted with yellow fever. The most eligible place that
presented itself was a plot, about five acres in extent, which had
once been a part of Kips Bay Farm, and called by its owner
Belle Vue.



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1848.



BELLEVUE

Thus the history of the first hospital to bear the name Belle
Vue is to all intents and purposes the history of the epidemics
which ravaged the city for eleven years.

Then for five years we do not hear of the place, when it
appears on the records as the southern boundary of the plot on
which, in 1811, was laid the cornerstone of the new almshouse
and hospital, the formal opening of which took place on April
28, 1816.

In 1825 a fever hospital was erected, the first and second
stories containing cells where the pauper insane were kept. In
this year, also, the reign of the resident physician was begun.
Dr. Isaac Wood filled the position for seven years, during which
he placed the struggling hospital on its feet, and from that time
on it has been known as the Bellevue Hospital. But twenty-two
years were yet to elapse before it should take possession of the
building which it occupies to-day. In 1848 the almshouse, with
all that pertained to it, was removed to Blackwells Island, and
the hospital was transferred to the building vacated by the
paupers.

In April, 1855, a wing was added extending along the 28th
Street side eastward, and the following year saw the addition of
a fourth story to the main building, and a large amphitheatre, so
that the main building was then in its external appearance the
same as it is to-day.



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I860



The first ambulance service in the world was established by
Bellevue in 1869.

In 1879 a building, called Sturges Pavilion, was erected by
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Osborn.

The Marquand Pavilion was given in 1883.

An Alcoholic Pavilion was built by the city in 1892.

The first unit of the New Bellevue, begun in 1906, and con-
taining the Medical Pavilion A and B, was opened in the fall of
1908.

The Pathological Building and men's dormitory were finished
in 1911. The new laundry and the store-room were opened in



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September, 1912, while to the south stands the latest addition,
Pavilion I and K, and to the east, facing the river, Pavilion L
and M.

These two pavilions contain operating rooms, the X-Ray
department, the surgical supply rooms, and 700 beds for surgical
patients.

On the ground floor of Pavilion I is an amphitheatre seating
300 and used for classes, clinics and demonstrations.

That the work done in Bellevue in recent years has been
proportionate to the growth of the plant, is proved by the follow-
ing statistics:




1879.



BELLEVUE

In 1902 the hospital contained 900 beds, which had been
increased to 1,334 in 1913. Officers, Visiting Physicians and
Surgeons, House Staff and other employees numbered 556 in
1902, and 1,108 in 1913. 23,780 patients were treated in 1902 as
compared with 41,428 in 1913.

In Bellevue the first School for Midwives in this country was
founded in 1911, and the first systematic Hospital Social Service
organized in 1906.

On another page may be seen the completed Bellevue of the
future, and while we regret the passing of the old, we cannot
fail to rejoice in the hope and promise of the Bellevue which
is to be.



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Front of the Hospital,
1915.



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Main Entrance.

This railing formed part of the balcony of Federal Hall over
which General Washington delivered his first inaugural ad-
dress, April 30, 1789.



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Fountain on the grounds of Bellevue Hospital.



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1892.

Sturges Pavilion, now Ward 40.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Osborn.



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1893

Marquand Pavilion, now Ward 32

The Marquand Pavilion was the gift of Messrs. F. and H. Marquand, in memory of

their brother, Josiah Penfield Marquand.



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Ward B 5. Christmas Time.



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Baby Room of the Maternity Ward.



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Episcopal Chapel, Christ the Consoler,
was given by Mrs. R. H. L. Townsend.
It was dedicated April 22, 1889, by the
Rev. Henry Satterlee, rector of Cal-
varv Church.



"After the service Mrs. Townsend,
assisted by friends, planted eigrht
ivy plants. Each was expected to
be his or her vine, and in per-
forming: this duty they were not
to forgret the privileg-e of looking-
inside and helping- on the growth
of the work so happily begrun."



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Altar of the Roman Catholic Chapel,

Given by Miss Annie Leary in memory

of her brother.



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Old Ambulance.



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New Ambulance.



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Barnum & Bailey giving a complimentary exhibition for
the patients of Bellevue.



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Ward in the new surgical wing, opened November, 1915.



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Calorimeter.



Human Heat





A machine for determining exactly how much food any per-
son needs in order to keep his weight stationary, is now in opera-
tion at Bellevue Hospital, in New York City. At present it is
applied only to persons who are ill, especially typhoid fever
patients; but its further application to the struggles of healthy
people against growing fat, is probable. With the facts obtained
from this machine, doctors can provide a diet for patients in the
hospital that will keep up their strength all through an illness,
avoiding the two dangers of overworking the organs by supply-
ing too much food or of weakening the organs by not providing
sufficient nourishment.

The old treatment of typhoid was to supply food very spar-
ingly to the patient, leaving him weak and emaciated at the end
of the fever. Fatal results were feared if the patient was given
much nourishment. The most modern theory, however, is that,
with extreme care and expert knowledge in the selection and
administration of food, it is safe to provide enough nourishment
to keep up the patient's weight and strength. Scientific knowl-



BELLEVUE

edge of foods, combined with understanding of the bodily re-
quirements, is essential. The new machine gives a full and exact
report of the bodily requirements instead of the rough estimates
that have prevailed. It is called respiration calorimeter, and its
duty is to report how much heat is manufactured by the body of
a patient. Food is turned into heat by the body, and it is already
known exactly how much heat will be manufactured by the body
out of an ounce of any common article of food.

Thus, if the doctor finds out how much heat is being manu-
factured by the body of a typhoid fever patient, he can easily
figure out how much food — to the fraction of an ounce — must
be supplied to keep up that heat production without drawing on
the reserve forces of the patient and causing a gradual weaken-
ing. The digestive organs may be expected to handle the proper
amount of food readity — provided, of course, the right kind of
food is selected as well as the right quantity. Any extra food
would overtax the digestive organs.

The respiration calorimeter consists of a big box, in which
the patient is placed for two or three hours, with a set of instru-
ments that will record every vestige of heat produced inside the
box. Arrangements are made to keep it at an even and comfort-
able temperature and to supply good ventilation. The record
will show a heat production at the rate of a certain number of
calories a day, weight and size making much difference between
normal individuals.



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Old Training School.




• •



Training School




On January 26, 1872, a number of ladies met at the home of
Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler to organize a committee to visit the
public hospitals of the City and County of New York, and report
upon their condition to the State Board of Charities.

For many months sixty of the most intelligent women to be
found in the city daily passed hours in the wards of Bellevue,
carefully considering its conditions and consulting the highest
hospital authorities.

As a result of their report it was decided that no permanent
reform could be effected under the actual system of nursing
then existing.

The women then employed were brought from Blackwell's
Island, where they had been sent as vagrants, or paupers, or
prisoners, and many could neither read or write.

Later in the year a sub-committee was organized to propose
a plan for a training school for nurses.



BELLEVUE

Mr. William H. Osborn was chairman of this committee, and
Mrs. William Preston Griffin was one of its members.

The first step^to be taken was to learn what a training school
was, and as it was considered important that the information
should be obtained at headquarters, Dr. W. Gill Wylie, then a
house surgeon at Bellevue, offered to go to Europe at his own
expense and bring back a report.

Dr. Wylie was one of the first men in his profession to assist
in this work, while many, who realized that a reform in hospital
service was necessary, argued that a pauper hospital was no
place for a refined and intelligent woman.

One distinguished surgeon said, "I do not believe in the suc-
cess of a training school for nurses at Bellevue Hospital. The
patients, as a general thing, are such a difficult class to deal with,
and the service is so hard that the conscientious, intelligent
woman you are looking for will lose heart and hope long before
the two years are over."

Four members of the Medical Board to whom the committee
owed a debt of gratitude were Dr. James R. Wood, Dr. Austin
Flint, Dr. Stephen Smith, and Dr. James M. Markoe.

Dr. Wylie returned from Europe in the autumn of 1872,
bringing an interesting report of the Schools in England, France



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and Germany, and, above all, a letter of encouragement and
advice from Florence Nightingale.

From the information obtained by Dr. Wylie, and from other
sources, a paper was prepared stating the object of the work pro-
posed and appealing to the public of New York for funds to




New Training School.



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Library of the Training School.

establish the School. The project was received with enthusiasm,
and in six weeks $22,385.00 were contributed.

From the Commissioners of the Board of Charities a reluct-
ant consent was obtained to nurse five wards at Bellevue, the
committee defraying all expense beyond what was paid under
the old system. In March, 1873, a house was hired in the vicinity
of the hospital, as a home for the nurses, and a circular was
issued inviting pupils to apply. At the end of several weeks six
pupils were obtained, and Sister Helen, of The All Saints Sister-
hood in London, became Superintendent. At the end of the first
year the house staff ventured to point out to their superiors the



B E L L E V U E

improved condition of the nursing service, and gradually these
gentlemen became convinced that their patients recovered sooner
and that the deaths after operations were less freqeunt than
formerly.

During the second year the work was extended to other
wards, the applications from would-be pupils increased, and at
the close of the second year the first class graduated.

In May, 1876, Sister Helen returned to England, and Miss
Eliza Perkins, of Norwich, Connecticut, was placed in charge.

Of Miss Perkins it has been said, "She studied the character
and abilities of her pupils, knew the position each woman was
adapted to fill, and, as class after class graduated, she sent them
far and wide over the country to carry the results of their educa-
tion into hospitals and homes."

In 1888 Miss Perkins resigned and her place was filled by her
assistant, Miss Agnes S. Brennan, under whose admirable fidelity
and trained intelligence the School continued to develop. Dur-
ing Miss Brennan's term of office Miss Carrie J. Brink was
appointed Assistant Superintendent, and since that time has been
closely associated with the work of the School. Miss Brink is at
present Superintendent of Nurses.

Miss Brennan, after fourteen years' continuous service as
Superintendent, resigned in May, 1902, and Miss Jane A. Delano



/



B EL L E V U E

succeeded her. Four years later Miss Delano, for personal
reasons, presented her resignation, which was accepted most
reluctantly by tjie Trustees of the Hospital and the Managers of
the School. In Feburary, 1907, Miss Annie Goodrich, a graduate
of the New York Hospital, and a woman of large experience in
executive work was chosen General Superintendent of Training
Schools, the nursing in Fordham and Harlem Hospitals, in addi-
tion to the Bellevue service, being under her supervision.

In 1910 Miss Goodrich was appointed State Inspector of
Training Schools, and Miss Clara D. Noyes was called from St.
Luke's, New Bedford, to succeed her. Miss Noyes is a Johns
Hopkins graduate, and having had part of her training under
our Mrs. Robb, was welcomed as a member of the Bellevue
family, and for five years has labored unceasingly for the welfare
of our School.

At present the staff of workers consists of 133 graduate
nurses, 111 student nurses, and 37 affiliating nurses.



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Demonstration Room at Training School.



BELLEVUE

On Christmas Day, 1887, Mr. D. 0. Mills presented to the
Department of Public Charities and Correction a sum of money
to erect and establish a school for the training of male nurses.

The Commissioners set aside a plot in the southeast corner
of the Bellevue grounds, and by December, 1888, the building
was completed. Five male wards were assigned to the care of
these pupils, and until the first class was graduated, one of the
women nurses had charge of each ward.

Men of character and ability engaged in this work, and the
experiment was so successful that gradually the entire male side
of the hospital was under their care. The last class graduated in
1911, and altogether 438 men held diplomas entitling them to
practice nursing under the rules of the State Board of Regents.
A considerable number chose this training as preliminary to the
study of medicine, and are now physicians.

The majority, however, are members of their Alumni Asso-
ciation, which is located in New York and supplies the constant
demand for male nurses.

A School for Male Attendants has now completed its third
year, and these young men have become a valuable supplement
to the nursing staff.

A number of the graduates are employed at Bellevue, several
have entered a Training School to qualify as nurses, and others
are employed in private work.



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Osborn Hail.




Osborn Hall





In 1878 a house located at 426 East 26th Street was pur-
chased by Mrs. William Henry Osborn, and leased to the Board
of Managers of the Bellevue Training School for Nurses. This
was known as the Nurses' Home, and for more than thirty years
continued to be a place of residence for the pupils of the School.

On May 24, 1909, the new building provided by the city
was occupied by the pupils, and the work of remodelling 426 was
begun. An adjoining lot was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. William
Church Osborn, and on this was erected a building six stories
in height, perfect in every detail of finish and equipment, and,
together with the original building, appropriately furnished as a
club house for the graduate nurses.

A restaurant seating nearly one hundred is patronized by the
many workers in this vicinity, and guests of the house.

The Assembly Room is well adapted for our meetings, con-
certs — and a stage can be easily erected for the little plays and
minstrel shows given each winter,

A well equipped laundry is much appreciated by all.



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Reception Room of Osborn Hall.

The Registry is located here, and is thus made accessible to
doctors visiting the hospital, as well as for the nurses.

This completed structure designed by Mr. and Mrs. William
Church Osborn as a memorial to Mrs. William Henry Osborn,
was placed in charge of the Bellevue Alumnae Association in
April, 1911. Two years later a wing was added, making the
capacity 180 guests, consisting not only of nurses, but other
self-supporting women.

With one voice all can say that the wish to make Osborn Hall
a home for the graduates has been more than realized.



Date Due


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COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES (hsl.stx)

RA982.N42B41 1915 C.I

Bellevue :



2002060558





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Online LibraryWilliam Preston GriffinBellevue : a short history of Bellevue Hospital and of the training schools → online text (page 1 of 1)