This well researched book provides an interesting study of the development of a fever hospitals and fever nursing, mainly in nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain. It also covers modern concerns. It provides new insights into the development of nursing roles and nurse education and looks at the lives of key figures during this time. Fever Hospitals and Fever Nurses shows how a once important branch of the profession - fever nursing - much needed and valued by society, emerged in the nineteenth century, only to be discarded in the second half of the twentieth century. Unlike the charitably endowed voluntary hospitals, fever and smallpox hospitals were founded by municipal authorities as a result of fear and panic about epidemics of infectious diseases. Those affected were perceived as a source of danger, a threat to the nation's health. They were, therefore, isolated, expropriated from their community, often in a manner analogous to detention in an asylum or prison. Drawing on the work of Goffman and Foucault, the study shows how fever nurses transformed their custodial duties to a therapeutic role, aided by the development of medical science. It also shows how schemes of training were implemented to improve recruitment and retention of nurses. As standards of living improved, patients stood a better chance of recovery, many fever hospitals became redundant and most fever nurses were no longer required. The wisdom of creating fever hospitals and then disbanding them is questioned in the light of changing disease patterns, international travel and the threat posed by biological warfare.

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