A medical ward in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, late 19th century. The medical wards were located in the Royal's old Adam building until its demolition in 1912.
When Joseph Lister arrived at the Royal in 1861 there were only forty-four nurses, mostly elderly and poorly trained, whose duties included scrubbing the floors and washing clothes as well as providing elementary patient care. Pay, training and conditions improved during the 1870s, and in 1879 each nurse was provided with a uniform. A systematic course of training for nurses was designed by the famous surgeon, Sir William Macewen (in collaboration with the matron, Rebecca Strong) and inaugurated in 1893.
Reference: RCPSG 28/25
Reproduced with the permission of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Adam Building, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, hospital wards, infirmaries, nurses, nursing, patients, uniforms, voluntary hospitals