NURSING IN THE CANAL ZONE

ISABELLE FREELAND
1907 The American Journal of Nursing  
Trained female nurses are employed in the Zone only at the Colon Hospital, where the steamers land on the Atlantic side, and at Ancon, across the isthmus, on the Pacific coast. Colon is low, flat, and uninter¬ esting. Ancon is on a hill overlooking the city of Panama. The grounds of the hospital at Ancon arc beautiful with tall palms, rubber trees, and flowering plants; roses bloom out of doors all the year round. The dry season is from January until May. Occasionally there will be a shower,
more » ... ill be a shower, lasting one or two minutes, but generally speaking it docs not rain during these four months. The dust is blown around in great clouds by the high winds. During the wet season it sometimes rains for days without stopping, with such force that it seems ns if the roofs of the houses would give way ami on other days there will be one heavy shower for five or ten minutes during the day. With the utmost care things will get mouldy. Leather goods suffer the most; hacks of books peel off if left out very long, hut keep very well in a glass case. Pillows and woolen goods smell musty, but these can he frequently put in the sun and warmed through. It. is warmest from ten a.m. to three r.M., the mornings and nights being always cool. Tn the wards and at our quarters it is very comfortable (80°), more like the month of June in New York. Tn the sun it is often 100°, but. a good breeze cools one off, and we never hear of a heat prostration case. All work and business stop between eleven and one. The nurses go on duty at seven a.m. The hours of duty are from seven to nine in the morning, and from three to nine in the afternoon. Others are on duty from seven a.m. to three e.M. and a few from seven to twelve and from three to six. The night nurses' hours are from nine r.M. to seven a.m. for one month, two or three times a year. Orderlies and attendants assist in the work; the nurses take temperatures, give medicines, superintend the cleaning, do a great deal of clerical work, and occasionally are asked to give an alcohol sponge hath. In the one ward for women, some of the female attendants give baths and douches. These attendants are mostly colored people from Jamaica or Martinique. At Colon, the wards are two-story wooden buildings, half built over the water. At Ancon, all are one-story high, with the exception of a 697
doi:10.1097/00000446-190706000-00004 fatcat:sjuxcmsa75d6davnaxat2g3hnm