Die Entwicklung der Krankenpflege zur staatlich anerkannten Ttigkeit im 19. und frhen 20. Jahrhundert: Das Zusammenwirken von Modernisierungsbestrebungen, rztlicher Dominanz by ProQuest

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Schweikardt examines and explains this end result as the outcome of a negotiation process or power struggle shaped by the political structures of the Prussian state administration as well as the various political interests of the main stakeholders, such as physicians, hospital administrators, religious orders and confessional associations, unionized hospital personnel, and, to a minor degree, the women's movement. Increased political debate, especially from the socialist side, over poor work conditions of hospital personnel, and public health measures to control infectious disease, further triggered a call for state-approved education of nurses to improve health conditions.

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Die Entwicklung der Krankenpflege zur staatlich
anerkannten Tätigkeit im 19. und frühen 20.
Jahrhundert: Das Zusammenwirken von
Modernisierungsbestrebungen, ärztlicher Dominanz,
konfessioneller Selbstbehauptung und Vorgaben
preuβischer Regierungspolitik [The Development
of Nursing into a State-Approved Occupation in the
Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century: The Entwined
Influences of Modernization, Medical Domination,
Assertion of Confessional (Religious) Independence,
and Prussian State Politics]
By Christoph Schweikardt
(München: Martin Meidenbauer, 2008) (339 pages)

In a thoroughly researched and well-written account, Christoph Schweikardt analyzes
the development of nursing within the Prussian health care system in the nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries. Taking Prussia as a case example within the larger con-
text of the German Empire, his particular focus is on the legislatory decision-making
process that eventually resulted in an approved state exam for nurses in Prussia in
1907. Schweikardt examines and explains this end result as the outcome of a negotia-
tion process or power struggle shaped by the political structures of the Prussian state
administration as well as the various political interests of the main stakeholders, such
as physicians, hospital administrators, religious orders and confessional associations,
unionized hospital personnel, and, to a minor degree, the women’s movement. Given
the power constellation in Prussia at the time, the outcome was markedly different
from the professionalization process of, for example, their British and North American
counterparts.
     The analysis provides valuable insight into these differences. Schweikardt argues
that a strong influence of a liberal women’s movement on nursing did not take hold
in Germany during this time period. Although a small group of independently orga-
nized, internationally connected female nurses around Agnes Karll and an evangeli-
cal deaconal association became politically engaged and supported by the women’s
movement, their influence remained minor in the face of the large majority of nurses
bound by the motherhouses and of untrained attendants who formed the majority of
public hospital personnel. The state’s interest in not having to commit funds to nurs-
ing education aligned well with the motherhouses’ interest in keeping control over
their own affairs. As a field of work, nursing remained politically divided, medic
								
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