Lavinia L Dock

Topics: Nursing, Women's suffrage, Nurse Pages: 7 (2534 words) Published: April 28, 2009
Lavinia Lloyd Dock is a nurse leader that had a huge influence on the profession of nursing. Her actions throughout her life categorize her as a nurse leader, suffragist, and social reformist. She found herself becoming a nurse when she recognized her passion of caring for the suffering. One of her goals was to improve global health. Lavinia accomplished much in her lifetime for females and the nursing community. She can be considered a great pioneer in the evolution of nursing.

Lavinia Lloyd Dock is known to many as a nurse leader, suffragist, and social reformer. As a leader, she was the first to document the history of nursing and has written books which are referenced and practiced in the healthcare community still today. Being a part of the suffrage movement, she never let her gender hold her back. Demonstrating how woman can be important caregivers while professionalizing the occupation of nursing. As a social reformist, her books Materia Medica for Nurses, Hygiene and Morality, and articles in the American Journal of Nursing had a huge influence in the healthcare in the past and still today(James, 1985). Child to Adulthood

Her life began February 26, 1858 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Named after her mother Lavinia Lloyd Bombaugh, she soon followed her mothers nurturing ways. Father Gilliard Dock, was a wealthy landlord who provided for the family. She went to school at a young age at a local all girls academy. Many believed this is where Lavinia’s feminist views began forming. She lived with her family until her mid-twenties, obtaining income from land her father disbursed between his daughters. Being the second oldest of five sisters and one brother, the Dock family was always taught to be tolerant and accepting (“Lavinia Lloyd,“ 2003). Her childhood and adolescent life was easy going until her mother died when she was eighteen leaving her four younger sisters to care for. It was not until an article in New Century magazine motivated Lavinia to enroll at Bellevue Training School for Nurses in New York City. This is where she started her profession and began innovating new ways of nursing practices (James, 1985). Nursing

She enrolled in the Bellevue Training for Nurses, made famous by the works of Florence Nightingale, in 1884, going against the norm for a woman with a wealthy background. Most nurses during this age were thieves, prostitutes, or poor, people willing to do anything to make money. But as a strong individual she followed what her heart desired which was to help people in need. Her school agenda consisted of twelve hours a day, working with the poor and sick . In 1886, she graduated from the school of nursing and began her career as a professional nurse (“Lavinia Lloyd,“ 1980).

Since she could live off of her families’ inheritance of land, she began volunteering with the Woman’s Mission of the New York City Mission and Tract society. The city mission mainly just visited the poor. She also joined the United Workers in Norwich, Connecticut to help train fellow lady nurses. It was not too long until Lavinia met up with her old Bellevue classmate Jane Delano. Together they helped with the 1888 yellow fever epidemic in Jacksonville, Florida. That following spring, many volunteers came which gave Lavinia a chance to move back to Pennsylvania. During her stay in Johnstown she was introduced to her soon to be long time friend Clara Barton who founded the American Red Cross. Many believe this friendship really jumpstarted her professional nursing career. Thirty-four years later, the two worked together to write The History of American Red Cross (Sklar, 2000).

Later that year, she became a night time superintendent at Bellevue hospital. For the next six months, she began collecting and analyzing medical texts, medications, and means for administering them. In 1890, she composed the first nurses’ manual of drugs named Materia Medica for Nurses...
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