Health History Lecture: Capturing the History of Public Health Nursing and its Transformation from Nurses’ Work Experiences

In this lecture Ranjit Dhari, Lecturer for the UBC School of Nursing, reflects on a recent oral history project on Public Health Nursing in the Lower Mainland.

Ranjit Dhari

Ranjit Dhari


March 9, 2016
12:00 – 1:00
UBC School of Nursing – 3rd Floor, UBC Hospital
Room T206


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Nursing Rounds: Beyond the Cuckoo’s Nest: Nurses and ECT in Dutch Psychiatry, 1940-2010

On February 23, 2016, Dr. Geertje Boschma reflects on her research on the history of electroconvulsive therapy, nursing, and Dutch psychiatry for the UBC School of Nursing’s “Nursing Rounds.”

Abstract: This presentation examines the history of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) from the viewpoint of nurses in the particular context of Dutch psychiatry. After a period of dwindling use and much controversy over ECT in the 1970s and 1980s, its application increased again during the 1990s. Competent nursing was a key component in ECT treatment from the outset. While nursing’s close ties to medical knowledge and therapies have been a source of ambivalence and professional tension, the connection also gave nurses new opportunities to renegotiate their expertise in the domain of biological psychiatry. As ECT became more accepted during the 1990s nursing’s grounding in the medical domain opened new professional avenues in ECT-nursing expertise and advanced practice.

Bio: Dr. Boschma is a professor in the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia. She leads a research program on the history of nursing and health care, with special emphasis on mental health and mental health nursing. Dr. Boschma’s research aims to add to the understanding of change in health care and nursing’s professional identity.


UBC School of Nursing, 3rd Floor of UBC Hospital

Room T206

8:00 am – 8:50 am

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Health History Lecture: “We can do this but we need to do it our way”: Oral History Accounts of Deinstitutionalization in New Zealand

Please join the Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry for the next lecture in our Health History Lecture Series. With co-sponser The UBC School of Nursing Critical Research in Health and Healthcare Inequities Unit, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Kate Prebble as our next speaker and visiting scholar. On June 3, 2015, she will present her work entitled: “‘We can do this but we need to do it our way’: Oral history accounts of setting up a forensic psychiatric service in Auckland, New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s – Creating an institution in the context of deinstitutionalisation?”

Abstract: This presentation explores the development of forensic psychiatric services in Auckland, New Zealand in the late 1980s and 1990s. The story is based on oral histories undertaken with twenty-one participants who helped create the service. They told of an innovative service, shaped by driven, motivated people, following some inspiring leadership. The background for this innovation and change was the chaos and struggles of the mental health hospital Oakley/Carrington, wider political wrangles over whether responsibility for forensic patients lay with the Departments of Justice or Health, and the driving philosophy and policy of deinstitutionalisation. The forensic service that these contributors created was predicated on a distancing from the past chaos, and looking forward to creating a service that was new, different and with home-grown solutions.

Participants were aware of contradictions inherent in providing contained care in the context of deinstitutionalisation. This paper explores how they rationalised their decisions – ‘we have to face the reality that there will always be an institution for people who have criminal offending attached to their mental illness’ – and how they attempted to incorporate principles of liberal psychiatry within the risk-conscious parameters of forensic psychiatric services.

Dr. Kate Prebble and Dr. Claire Gooder

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Health History Lecture: Reducing Risk: Cesarean Section at St. Paul’s Hospital, 1950-1970

Please join the Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry for the next lecture in our Health History Lecture Series. On January 29, 2015, we welcome speaker Dr. Sally Mennill, who teaches in the History Department at Douglas College. In this lecture, “Reducing Risk: Caesarean Section at St. Paul’s Hospital, 1950-1970,” Dr. Mennill will present her work on the historical development of the caesarean section following World War II. This lecture is hosted jointly by the Consortium for Nursing History Inquiry and The Collaboration for Maternal and Newborn Health.

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  January 29, 2015

  12:00 – 1:00 pm

  UBC School of Nursing, Room T182 (UBC Hospital 3rd Floor)


Health History Lecture: Working Professionalism, Nursing in Calgary and Vancouver 1958-1977

On May 17, 2014, the Consortium and the BC History of Nursing Society co-hosted Dr. Margaret Scaia (University of Victoria) at the annual BC History of Nursing Society Luncheon. Dr. Scaia presented her PhD dissertation work: Working Professionalism: Nursing in Calgary and Vancouver 1958 to 1977.

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Dr. Scaia acknowledges her supervisors Dr. ME Purkis, Dr. L. Marks, & Dr. A. Lepp, and funding support from SSHRC Bombardier Scholarship

The event was held at the Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club

  • Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014 (RSVP by May 14)
  • Time: 11:30 am
  • Address: 1630 West 15th Avenue, Vancouver BC, V6J 2K7
  • Registration: $36.00, payable to The BC History of Nursing Society

Health History Lecture: Reconsidering The Demise of the Female Tradition in Physical Education

On March 19, 2014, Dr. Patricia Vertinsky (Distinguished University Professor, UBC School of Kinesiology) joined the Consortium to present some of her recent work. Dr. Vertinsky specializes in the social and cultural history of sport and physical activity with attention to gender, race, aging, and disability. On March 19th, Dr. Vertinsky challenged familiar progress and loss narratives found in the historiography of the female physical education profession in the 20th Century.

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Dr. Vertinsky

Dr. Vertinsky & Dr. Wendy Hall