The Psychology Of The Nurse

The mind can be as definitely developed and strengthened as the body.

The man who has suffered for years an organic disease will never have

the same force as he who has never been seriously ill; but his

constitution can be built up and made as efficient as possible within

its limitations. Many a man or woman who has an organic heart disorder,

through treatment and the proper exercises gradually increased, can very

approximate through many years the output of a normally strong

person. The individual weakened by a tuberculous infection can

frequently, by following a prescribed regimen for a time, by wise,

scientific diet and rest treatment and the help of the out-of-doors,

then by carefully increased physical activity, finally live the useful,

average life. But it takes scientific care to evolve the weak body into

a strong one; and in some cases, at best, it can never stand the same

strain that the uninjured one carries with ease. However, even damaged

bodies can be made very productive within their limited spheres. Also

the naturally perfect physique can quickly become unfit through neglect

or infections or misuse.

In the same way, and just as definitely, can the mind be developed and

strengthened. Some are by nature keen, alert, brilliant. They may

develop into masterfulness; or they, too, may degenerate, through abuse,

or from the effect of body infections, into uselessness. The germ-plasm

has foreordained some individuals to psychic disorders; but training and

mode of life can modify many of these defects. And the average mind,

like the average physical organs, can be made more efficient through

partaking of the proper mental food, through careful training and wise


No more urgent necessity faces the professional woman than this of

training her mind to its highest productiveness. Argument is not needed

to convince intelligent people today that the accomplishment of life

depends upon mentality.

Let us look into the very A, B, C's of mind development, and as nurses

undertake to equip ourselves to master our profession from the ground

up. The first essential is ability to think clearly.

Steps to Clear Thinking:

1. Accurate perception, with attention to the thing that reason chooses.

2. Association of ideas.

3. Concentration, acquired by the help of emotion and will.

4. Emotional equilibrium, which refuses to allow feeling to obscure

judgment by leading reason astray.

5. Self-correction.

6. Automatic habits, which free the mind of all unnecessary crowding.