Web site spotlight: Prudence or wisdom? Can your policies pass muster?

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, October 23, 2009

In 1751, Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin founded the first hospital of the 13 colonies. At that time, Philadelphia was the fastest growing city, boasting a population in 1730 of 11,500 that grew to 15,000 in 1750. The mission of Pennsylvania Hospital, as it was then known, was “to care for the sick, the poor, and the insane who were wandering the streets of Philadelphia.”

Patients were expected to follow strict rules and policies. They had to comply exactly with orders given by physicians and nurses. There was no talking allowed on the wards when the physicians were present. Patients could not be in the bed unless they were in bedclothes— no street clothes were allowed. There was to be no profane language, gambling, or spitting on the floors. And my personal favorite: If you were able, you were expected to help the nurse with her duties.

Imagine updating those policies to match standards of practice today?


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