What courage they had! This was a time before vaccines, before modern medicine. They were literally risking their lives to help their neighbors. We talk about heroes. These women were heroes.” - Anonymous
It has been 102 years since the first visiting nurse hit the streets of New London to treat the sick and help the poor. A century later, the VNASC has grown into a major player in the region’s healthcare network.
In the early years, nurses often risked their own health, treating contagious diseases, working on the front lines of patient care when modern medicine didn’t exist. In contrast, today’s visiting nurses go into schools with an array of services for children never dreamed of in 1909. Today’s VNASC includes more than 100 nurses caring for thousands of sick and elderly residents from Old Saybrook to the Rhode Island border. Nurses use the latest technologies to help patients avoid hospitals and nursing homes with quality care at home.
It is almost impossible to quantify the impact of visiting nurses over the years; their words of encouragement to patients and families, a smile or the touch of a hand when it otherwise might have been absent. One thing we know for sure though: Times change, yet much of what it means to be a nurse stays exactly the same.