21 Aug Health Unit Coordinator Day Coming Up
Prior to World War II, hospitals were staffed by physicians, nurses, specialists such as laboratory technicians, and a few support personnel such as cooks and janitors. World War II brought about massive changes in the staffing of health facilities. These changes were first felt in England in the late 1930s as the immense number of casualties put an intolerable strain on physicians and nurses. First, the nurses took over some of the physicians’ “duties,” such as taking blood pressures and starting intravenous therapy. This meant that the nurse needed someone to take over some of her duties. (The vast majority of nurses at that time were women.)
It had always been noted by nurses that “desk” duties such as answering the telephone or going on errands frequently interrupted the giving of nursing care. So an individual was added to the staff to do these duties. This person was designated a “floor clerk.” As the war went on, more and more responsibilities, such as copying diet lists and condition reports, were assigned to the “floor clerk” position description.
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