Nursing History Events

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Preventive Strikes: The History of Female Cancers @ RCN Library and Heritage Centre
Jan 31 @ 17:00 – 19:00

For many years, hysterectomy was widely relied on for both cure and prevention of female cancers. Historian Ilana Löwy talks about her research, which has highlighted the damaging effects of some of these “preventive strikes”. Today, specialist nurses co-ordinate the diagnostic and treatment journey for cervical cancer, as well prevention to include smear tests and breast cancer screenings and managing the consequences of treatment. Cancer Nurse specialist Tracie Miles looks at the current role of the Clinical Nurse Specialist in cancer patient care today.

Fertility Treatment: How far should we go? @ RCN Library and Heritage Centre
Feb 7 @ 17:00 – 19:00

In 1978, Louise Brown made history by being the first baby born after in vitro fertilisation (IVF). In the forty years since, IVF has become an established method of treatment for infertility, yet debates around access continue. Jane Denton, Director of the Multiple Births Foundation, chairs a panel discussion exploring the introduction of IVF and concerns arising from it. Kay Elder gives a personal perspective from her role in the early years of the first IVF programme, while Jane Stewart, Chair of the British Fertility Society, explores the question: “Does everyone have the right to fertility treatment on the NHS?”

The Science of Woman: From Wandering Womb to Gynae Nursing @ Thackray Museum
Feb 13 @ 17:00 – 19:00

For centuries, women were thought of as being at the mercy of their biology. From the ancient Greek notion of the “wandering womb” to more recent attention to PMT and the menopause, women’s health has been used to explain and justify cultural attitudes to women. Find out about the fascinating history of women’s health, alongside modern initiatives in women’s health nursing.

Free admission to the Thackray Museum with an event ticket!

Fitting the Female Form: A brief history of underwear @ RCN Library and Heritage Centre
Feb 21 @ 17:30 – 20:00

Join us for a period poverty community fundraiser. Find out about the history of women’s underwear – with some inspiring female innovators and facts about past menstrual care products woven through. Treats and activities will be at the ready throughout the night (including a ‘tampola’ with plenty of prizes!).

Admission free with donation of sanitary products (£5 otherwise)

Wanted: Educated Women of Culture The Recruitment of British Nurse Superintendents to Philadelphia, 1870-1920 @ RCN Library and Heritage Centre
Mar 14 @ 18:00 – 20:00

During the late nineteenth century, hospital trustees in Philadelphia actively recruited British nurse superintendents to administer their newly established hospitals and nurse training schools, in an attempt to raise the status of their institutions. The British nurses who responded varied in both the experiences they encountered and the degree to which they achieved success. Through the presentation of biographies
of some of the British nurses recruited to Philadelphia, Karen Egenes describes the nurses’ motivations, challenges faced, tactics employed, and legacy. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception from 8-9pm.

Hot Flushes: Menopause History, Myths and Modern Life @ RCN Library and Heritage Centre
Mar 20 @ 17:00 – 19:00

In 1936 Marie Stopes argued that ‘the “crises” of a woman’s life had been much debated by male medical writers, and perhaps the most artificially created crisis had been her “change”: the menopause. Join us for a taboo-shattering look at the effects of the menopause on women past and present. Louise Foxcroft uses medical and social history to redress the myths and delivers some truths. Debby Holloway explores the role nursing plays in the menopause today, while Kathy Abernethy looks at whether support should be offered to women in the workplace.

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