The Plague Doctor, Popular Culture, and COVID-19

At the time when doctors believed that miasmic fumes were responsible for the transfer illnesses, rather than germ theory, medical professionals developed elaborate outfits to protect against the believed noxious air. The bubonic plague ravaged across Europe and Asia through the 14th to 17th centuries, with the prevailing theory was that it was caused by the miasmic theory of “malignant air”. In reality, the bubonic plague was actually spread when infected fleas from small animals entered into the human system by a flea bite. “The Plague Doctor” uniform was quite useless in assisting to protect against the disease, which killed an estimated 200 million people worldwide. But in many ways, the protective uniform worn by these doctors seems similar to what current medical professionals wear when treating those with infectious diseases. … More The Plague Doctor, Popular Culture, and COVID-19

Discovering Diseases: The Beginnings of Germ Theory and Preventative Precautions

“Germ theory was not easily accepted. All across Europe and into the USA and Canada, it was heavily contested and challenged by medical professionals who were unwilling to accept the changes to the scientific system.” … More Discovering Diseases: The Beginnings of Germ Theory and Preventative Precautions

The Introduction of Psychiatric Nursing: The Rockwood Training School for Nurses

Nurses were expected to be proficient in both mental health and physical nursing, as well as to be knowledgeable of the various mental illnesses and how they may appear. For the majority of the nineteenth century, trained nurses did not work at hospitals or asylums. The members of staff who interacted frequently with the patients … More The Introduction of Psychiatric Nursing: The Rockwood Training School for Nurses

Moral Treatment: A New Therapeutic Model

Organized sports and bicycling were also popular. These activities were believed to assist recovery, as they broke up the monotony of asylum life. In the late nineteenth century, Rockwood Asylum underwent a drastic change in treatment philosophies. Begun under the guidance of the third Superintendent Dr. William Metcalf, and continued by Dr. Charles Kirk Clarke, … More Moral Treatment: A New Therapeutic Model

Moral Treatment and Nursing School: The Impact of Dr. Charles Kirk Clarke at Rockwood Asylum.

Clarke strongly believed in “moral treatment”, an approach to mental health based on humane treatment as well as scheduled days in a calm environment. August 13, 1885. Dr. William Metcalf, medical superintendent of Rockwood Asylum and his assistant, Dr. Charles Kirk Clarke, are making their usual morning rounds of the institution. They approach one of … More Moral Treatment and Nursing School: The Impact of Dr. Charles Kirk Clarke at Rockwood Asylum.

Curative Architecture: The Healthful Design of Rockwood Asylum

In July of 1856 thirty-six acres of an estate west of Portsmouth Village, previously owned by politician John Cartwright, were purchased by the United Province of Canada East and Canada West. The intended purpose of the land? To become the home of a future asylum, intended to house both the “criminally insane” of Kington Penitentiary … More Curative Architecture: The Healthful Design of Rockwood Asylum

Good Air and Bad Air: The Importance of Ventilation

The following blog post was contributed by Isabel Luce, who is the Museum of Health Care’s 2018 Margaret Angus Research Fellow. Isabel has a BA in Canadian Studies and Art History from McGill University, and an MA in Art History and Curatorial Studies, and is working towards completing her PhD in Art History at Queen’s … More Good Air and Bad Air: The Importance of Ventilation

Domestic Nursing: An Introduction to Maintaining the Sick-Room

The following blog post was contributed by Isabel Luce, who is the Museum of Health Care’s 2018 Margaret Angus Research Fellow. Isabel has a BA in Canadian Studies and Art History from McGill University, and an MA in Art History and Curatorial Studies, and is working towards completing her PhD in Art History at Queen’s … More Domestic Nursing: An Introduction to Maintaining the Sick-Room

The Spanish Flu at KGH: A Frequent and Quick Killer

The following blog post was contributed by Andrew Belyea, who is the Museum of Health Care’s 2017 Margaret Angus Research Fellow. Andrew has a degree in Life Science from Queen’s University and will start at the Queen’s School of Medicine in the fall.  This is Andrew’s seventh blog post in a series he will be … More The Spanish Flu at KGH: A Frequent and Quick Killer