Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
WOMEN PROTEST INTIMATE EXAMINATION OF
NURSES BY CITY EMPLOYES
The tears of humiliation of young ,
women who took the last examina
tion for city nurses have roused a cry
of protest from nearly every women's
organization m Chicago,
To the ordinary rigid examination
has been added another called the
"secondary examination." This has
been decried by leaders of women as
an outrage to human decency.
The second examination was given
for the first time last week when
examinations were held for school
and tuberculosis nurses. While old
er nurses had protested against the
new stunts as nonsensical, unneces
sary and indecent, they did not fully
grasp what it was until those who
took the examination related its
When the facts became known a
wave of indignation swept the nurses'
organizations and spread to other
women's bodies. The storm brewed
slowly till it broke today with a fury
of vitriolic adjectives heaped upon the
head of the examining board and all
responsible for the now thoroughly
Most all who took the examina
tions last week were young nurses.
They were not prepared for what
they were to encounter. Some of
them were thrown into an extremely
nervous state because of the shock.
Physicians of renown of both sexes
have expressed the opinion that such
ap examination of the pelvic organs
of. candidates for city nurses is un
necessary. People like Miss Harriet Vitfum,
chairman of the Civil Service Reform
ass'n committee; Miss Jane Addams
and Miss Mary E. McDowell, presi
dent of the Woman's City club, have
termed the examination aji out
rageous insult and are today working
for its abolition. They say that un
less it is abolished self-respecting
women will be driven out of the city
"Men employes in the city hall
giggled and snickered when the al
leged tests were made," said Miss
Edna L. Foley, superintendent of the
Visiting Nurses' ass'n. "Many seemed
to know an attempt was being made
to 'pujt something over.' The women
of Chicago won't stand for such in
dignities. It 1b an insult to woman
hood." "4t is wholly unnecessary," said
Miss Minnie H. Ahrens, superinten
dent of the Infant Welfare society.
"There is no reason for such a pre
posterous examination. But if the
board feels that It must be held then
we want a radical change in the con
ditions of giving it If it must be held
it can be held with less humiliation
and more decency than it was given
Miss Elnora Thomson, director of
the Mental' Hygiene society, says'
there is no precedent for such an ex- '
aminatloo, that it is held no other
place in America.
The women have as of one accord
taken up the cudgel of the nurses.
They are waging war upon a physical
examination of young women by
masculine city employes; an exami
nation that is stricter, they say, than
that given by an insurance company
or any municipality in America. If
the tests are to be made they want
them made with much more privacy
than was the case last week.
Miss Vittum, Mrs. Jas. E. Quan and
Dr. H. B. Pavlll compose a committee
which is today prepared to take for
mal action against the test
Civil Service Commissioner Joseph
P. Geary said: "The standard of
nurses necessitates the examination.
We will have to change the standard
to do away with the examination."
o o .
' Two Clearing schools, annexed to
Chicago, made part of two nearest
eity schools for purposes of supervision.