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Cancer Nursing: The Modern Era

Pamela J. Haylock

radiation therapy, chemotherapy, nursing, history
ONF 2011, 38(6), E7-E14. DOI: 10.1188/11.S1.ONF.E7-E14

Sandelowski (1997) suggested that from 1870-1940, emerging technology, defined as the "use of material objects to achieve practical human ends" (p. 4), divided American nursing into two periods-before and after World War II. Sandelowski (1997) presented the case that, throughout American nursing history, technology transformed nursing work, altered social relations and division of labor, and transferred many forms of technology from the domain of medicine to nursing. The work of America's first trained nurses from 1870-1930 consisted of providing for the physical needs and comfort of patients (Hilkemeyer, 1985) and childbearing women; those tasks, categorized as "in-the-flesh" techniques-observing, positioning, and lifting-primarily involved nurses' trained senses of sight, hearing, smell, and touch, along with "deft and gentle hands, and strong back and limbs" (Sandelowski, 1997, p. 5).

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