Counsels on Health


The Health of the Nurse to Be Considered

It is the duty of attendants and nurses to take special care of their own health, especially in critical cases of fever and consumption. One person should not be kept closely confined to the sickroom. It is safer to have two or three to depend upon, who are careful and understanding nurses, these changing and sharing the care and confinement of the sickroom. Each should have exercise in the open air as often as possible. This is important to sickbed attendants, especially if the friends of the sick are among the class that continue to regard air, if admitted into the sickroom, as an enemy, and will not allow the windows raised or the doors opened. In such cases the sick and the attendants are compelled to breathe the poisonous atmosphere from day to day because of the inexcusable ignorance of the friends of the sick. CH 56.1

In very many cases the attendants are ignorant of the needs of the system, and of the relation that the breathing of fresh air sustains to health, and of the life-destroying influence of inhaling the impure air of a sickroom. In this case the life of the sick is endangered, and the attendants themselves are liable to take on disease, and lose health, and perhaps life.... CH 56.2

The sickroom, if possible, should have a draft of air through it, day and night. The draft should not come directly upon the invalid. While burning fevers are raging, there is but little danger of taking cold. But special care is needful when the crisis comes and the fever is passing away. Then constant watching may be necessary to keep vitality in the system. The sick must have pure, invigorating air. If no other way can be devised, the sick, if possible, should be removed to another room and another bed, while the sickroom, the bed and bedding, are being purified by ventilation. If those who are well need the blessings of light and air and need to observe habits of cleanliness in order to remain well, the need of the sick is still greater in proportion to their debilitated condition. CH 56.3

Some houses are furnished expensively, more to gratify pride and to receive visitors than for the comfort, convenience, and health of the family. The best rooms are kept dark. The light and air are shut out lest the light of heaven should injure the rich furniture, fade the carpets, or tarnish the picture frames. When visitors are seated in these rooms they are in danger of taking cold because of the cellarlike atmosphere pervading them. Parlor chambers and bedrooms are kept closed in the same manner and for the same reasons. And whoever occupies these beds which have not been freely exposed to light and air does so at the expense of health, and often of life itself. CH 57.1

Rooms that are not exposed to light and air become damp. Beds and bedding gather dampness, and the atmosphere in these rooms is poisonous, because it has not been purified by light and air.... CH 57.2

Sleeping rooms especially should be well ventilated, and the atmosphere made healthy by light and air. Blinds should be left open several hours each day, and the curtains put aside, and the rooms thoroughly aired. Nothing should remain, even for a short time, which would destroy the purity of the atmosphere.... CH 57.3

Sleeping apartments should be large and so arranged as to have circulation of air through them day and night. Those who have excluded the air from their sleeping rooms should begin to change their course immediately. They should let in air by degrees and increase its circulation until they can bear it winter and summer, with no danger of taking cold. The lungs, in order to be healthy, must have pure air. CH 57.4

Those who have not had a free circulation of air in their rooms through the night generally awake feeling exhausted and feverish, and know not the cause. It was air, vital air, that the whole system required, but which it could not obtain. Upon rising in the morning, most persons would be benefited by taking a sponge bath, or, if more agreeable, a hand bath, with merely a washbowl of water. This will remove impurities from the skin. Then the clothing should be removed piece by piece from the bed, and exposed to the air. The windows should be opened, the blinds fastened back, and the air allowed to circulate freely for several hours, if not all day, through the sleeping apartments. In this manner the bed and clothing will become thoroughly aired, and the impurities will be removed from the room. CH 58.1

Shade trees and shrubbery too close and dense around a house are unhealthful; for they prevent a free circulation of air and shut out the rays of the sun. In consequence of this, dampness gathers in the house. Especially in wet seasons the sleeping rooms become damp, and those who occupy them are troubled with rheumatism, neuralgia, and lung complaints which generally end in consumption. Numerous shade trees cast off many leaves, which, if not immediately removed, decay and poison the atmosphere. A yard beautified with trees and shrubbery, at a proper distance from the house, has a happy, cheerful influence upon the family, and, if well taken care of, will prove no injury to health. Dwellings, if possible, should be built upon high and dry ground. If a house is built where water settles around it, remaining for a time, and then drying away, a poisonous miasma arises, and fever and ague, sore throat, lung diseases, and fevers will be the result. CH 58.2

Many have expected that God would keep them from sickness merely because they have asked Him to do so. But God did not regard their prayers, because their faith was not made perfect by works. God will not work a miracle to keep those from sickness who have no care for themselves, but are continually violating the laws of health and make no efforts to prevent disease. When we do all we can on our part to have health, then may we expect that the blessed results will follow, and we can ask God in faith to bless our efforts for the preservation of health. He will then answer our prayer, if His name can be glorified thereby. But let all understand that they have a work to do. God will not work in a miraculous manner to preserve the health of persons who by their careless inattention to the laws of health are taking a sure course to make themselves sick. CH 59.1