Nursing at Littleton Hospital: Through the Ages

Nursing in Littleton during WWII

In 1941, due to wartime demand, there was once again a shortage of nurses. To meet this demand, the Hospital appealed for former nurses to return on a temporary or part time basis. The Red Cross provided the Hospital with volunteers trained to serve as nurses' aides. These assistants reduced the number of nurses needed to staff the hospital units.

In 1942, Mrs. Emma Bass became the eleventh Superintendent of the Littleton Hospital. In September of 1945 the war came to an end, and the Baby Boom began. In 1946, Mrs. Bass was quoted as saying, "Our present nursery was built to care for eight babies. We now frequently have 12-15 at a time in bureau drawers and boxes, or on radiators, sinks and tables." The new nursery opened on January 8th, 1950, with temperature and humidity controlled by air conditioning, and 12 new bassinettes on wheels. "It means that all babies henceforth delivered in the Littleton Hospital will enjoy every known protection for survival."

By September 14, 1948, Trustees' minutes stated that, "Mrs. Bass mentioned that the nurses wanted holiday pay amounting to an extra day of pay for each holiday worked and that nurses generally were attempting to get their work week down to 40 hours per week." At that time, in addition to regular pay, the Hospital paid nursing staff who did not reside in the Remich House $30 per month in addition to their regular pay.