Before the advent of successful drug therapies in the 1950s, nursing was central to patients’ experiences of tuberculosis care. Patients could spend months or years on the ‘rest cure’ in sanatoriums and also at home. Dispensaries were staffed by visiting tuberculosis nurses who brought care into patients’ homes. In the sanatorium specialist nurses were vital but in short supply. Could former patients fill-in? Writer Helen Bynum, author of Spitting Blood: The History of Tuberculosis, explores the places, politics and practices of nursing TB patients.
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