Personal and Professional Relationships: Dorothea Dix Nurse Leader

2115 Words9 Pages
Running Head: NURSE LEADERS

Dorothea Dix
Nurse Leader

Abstract

Dorothea Dix was born in 1802 and died in 1887. The choice to describe this particular nurse leader was made because she possesses qualities of a true nursing leader. She made a lot of positive changes possible, so the army nursing care was markedly improved during Civil War when she worked as a Superintendent of Army Nurses. She was an avid reader and a fast learner. She was taught privately by governesses who were hired by her wealthy grandmother before she became a teacher. Horrified by the conditions in which mentally ill patients were living in, she called upon a reform for mental institutions in the United States. While in England she was recovering from her Tubercular condition. Her friends Elizabeth Frye, a prison reformer, and Samuel Tuke, proprietor of the York Retreat for Mentally Disordered helped her to return to health. She learned new theories of caring for the insane from them. Dorothea Dix has been described as "the most effective advocate of humanitarian reform in American mental institutions during the nineteenth century". She also initiated opening of mental and conventional hospitals. The nursing will become more versatile in the future as the health sciences develop.

The Choice of the Nursing Leader

The choice to describe this particular nurse leader was made because she possesses qualities of a true nursing leader. Even though Dorothea Dix was not a nurse, she was a determined and successful mental health reformer at a time when the mentally ill were treated in a worse way than criminals. Dorothea Dix strived for excellence and shaped her environment for success. She also improved the lives of mentally ill patients and inmates because she possessed a genuine love for people. She motivated other nurses with her own inspiration during Civil war. As a visionary
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