European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics (ENHE) (2022), 4

Titel der Ausgabe 
European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics (ENHE) (2022), 4
Weiterer Titel 
Nursing Care in Times of Epidemics and Pandemics. Historical and Ethical Issues

Heidelberg 2022: Selbstverlag
Anzahl Seiten


Kontakt allgemein

Karen Nolte
Derzeitige Position (Kurzform)
Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin
Im Neuenheimer Feld 327
Susanne Kreutzer
Karen Nolte, Institut für Geschichte und Ethik der Medizin, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Applauded as “silent heroes” on balconies at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses in various European countries spoke out as the pandemic progressed to highlight their precarious working conditions and their importance in combating the pandemic. A number of nursing ethics problems arose from the lack of sufficiently qualified nursing staff in intensive care, the lack of material equipment in hospitals and the inadequate working conditions in long-term care: How can a fair distribution of resources be ensured under pandemic conditions? How do nursing professionals deal with the fact that they were unable to meet the demands for professional and, in this sense, good nursing care? (The keywords “missed nursing care” and “moral distress” may be mentioned here.) How can nursing care do justice to vulnerable and elderly people under pandemic conditions (and, in the future, also in the event of epidemically occurring, dangerous infectious diseases), when their liberties must be restricted for their own protection?
The current pandemic experience has rekindled interest in epidemic history. Revisiting historical research on pandemics and epidemics, one thing in particular stands out: good nursing care is crucial for the survival and recovery of infectious patients whose disease cannot be treated causally. Even though bacterial infectious diseases such as cholera, tuberculosis and typhoid fever have been easily treatable with antibiotics since the 1940s, it is still true today that, for pandemics caused by viruses, professional nursing care plays a key role in the course of the disease and in the prognosis of patients. Unlike the importance of nursing in pandemic control, the role of nurses and their daily work in past pandemics and epidemics has been little studied.
An epidemic history that puts nursing and nurses at the centre of interest examines not only concrete nursing practices but also the knowledge that was necessary to prevent the spread of dangerous infectious diseases. Knowledge of hygiene can still be considered a core competence of nurses today, and it was also evident in the current pandemic.
The fourth issue of the European Journal for Nursing History and Ethics focusses on how nurses have dealt with epidemics and endemic diseases in specific – historical as well as current – political and social settings. The contributions in the themed section range from the experiences of Bulgarian nurses in the typhoid epidemic of the 1930s, discussed by Kristina Popova, to the fight against epidemics in immigration camps for Holocaust survivors, analysed by Dorit Weiss and Hava Golander, to the most recent experiences in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The historical contributions are complemented in the open section by an article by Hall et al. on the transfer of the Danish deaconess model to the Faroe Islands.
The cover of this issue already refers to the mask as an iconographic object of the COVID-19 pandemic. The photo is from the first wave of the pandemic in Lombardy, Italy, and is part of a collection of narratives about everyday life during the pandemic shared by nurses and midwives across Europe in 2020. The question of how this new materiality of “COVIDwear” has changed nursing practice is explored by Benoît Majerus using the example of Luxembourg. Sabine Wöhlke and Gisela Ruwe examine the specific experiences of nursing students in the hospital setting during the initial period of the pandemic, which was characterised by a high degree of uncertainty. Astrid Eich-Krohm et al. turn to the nursing home setting, analysing the impact of COVID-19 regulations on the relationship between nurses and residents in nursing homes in Germany.
The historical and ethical contributions to this special issue have emerged in light of the researchers' direct experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the future, there will probably be a large number of historical studies on this pandemic in which the contribution of nurses can also be addressed, as a large number of documents have been collected that present the experiences of nurses in their own voices.
European Association for the History of Nursing, Experiences of Coronavirus Covid-19,, accessed December 15, 2022.


Themed Section
Editorial – Nursing Care in Times of Epidemics and Pandemics. Historical and Ethical Issues
Susanne Kreutzer and Karen Nolte

“…I was thinking, when doing this scrubbing, of Miss Florence Nightingale’s barracks…”: A Local Typhoid Epidemic in the Correspondence between a Bulgarian and an American Nurse in 1932 (Nevena Sendova and Clara Noyes)
Kristina Popova

Nurses from Here – Epidemics from There. The Encounter between Nurses from Eretz Israel and Holocaust Survivors Abroad, in an Effort to Eradicate Epidemics and Morbidity 1945–1948
Dorit Weiss and Hava Golander

“COVIDwear” and Health Care Workers. How Has the New Materiality of Clothing Affected Care Practices?
Benoît Majerus

Uncertainties and Coping Strategies among Nurses During the First Wave of Covid-19 in Germany – Nursing Students’ Use of Diary Entries to Document their Experiences during the First Wave of Infections in the Covid-19 Pandemic
Sabine Wöhlke and Gisela Ruwe

Too Close for Comfort? The Social Health of Geriatric Nurses During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Germany
Astrid Eich-Krohm, Julia Weigt, Christine Holmberg, Sibille Merz, Franziska König, Andreas Berg-holz, Joshua Paul and Christian Apfelbacher

Open Section
Historiographic and Biographic Accounts of Danish Deaconesses Serving in the Faroe Islands 1897–1948
Elisabeth O.C. Hall, Annemi Lund Joensen and Susanne Malchau Dietz

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