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Nurses: On the Job

What do we see when we look closely?

Examine this postcard of a Frontier nurse with a family. Established in 1925, the Frontier Nursing Service provides care to the people of rural Kentucky through nurses trained in a combination of nursing, public health, and midwifery skills.
Roll over different areas of the postcard to discover answers to the questions below.

    • Q1Can you see what the nurse is doing?
    • A1The postcard shows a Frontier nurse, who probably arrived on horseback, taking the blood pressure of the mother as part of a general health checkup.
    • Q2Can you see if the mother and child are healthy?
    • A2Frontier nurses attended thousands of births over the years and lost very few mothers especially compared to the overall US population.
    • Q3Can you identify the family's economic status?
    • A3In the 1940s in Kentucky, along with isolation and limited local access to medical care, rural poverty was endemic; Frontier nurses were often the only source of medical aid.
A White female nurse in white squats down while talking with a White mother and child.
1 2 3

A fundraising card for the Frontier Nursing Service features a nurse tending to and giving advice to a mother, 1945

    • Q1Can you see what the nurse is doing?
    • A1The postcard shows a Frontier nurse, who probably arrived on horseback, taking the blood pressure of the mother as part of a general health checkup.
    • Q2Can you see if the mother and child are healthy?
    • A2Frontier nurses attended thousands of births over the years and lost very few mothers especially compared to the overall US population.
    • Q3Can you identify the family's economic status?
    • A3In the 1940s in Kentucky, along with isolation and limited local access to medical care, rural poverty was endemic; Frontier nurses were often the only source of medical aid.
  • 1Can you see what the nurse is doing?
  • 2Can you see if the mother and child are healthy?
  • 3Can you identify the family's economic status?