Life at the Misericordia Hospital

3 Oct

PC006510Mom entered the Misericordia School of Nursing in 1928. She would have been 19 years old. The hospital at that time was operated by the Sisters of the Misericorde out of Montreal. The Sisters of Misericorde were a Religious Congregation founded by Marie Rosalie Cadron Jettre (1794 – 1864) in Montreal Quebec in 1848 and was dedicated to nursing the poor and unwed mothers. The congregation spread into Western Canada, establishing the Misericordia Hospital in 1900. The Sisters of Misericorde operated the hospital until the 1970s, when it became part of what is now Covenant Health, a Catholic health care provider operating 18 facilities across Alberta, in cooperation with AHS

The first permanent Misericordia Hospital opened on March 19,
1906. In contrast to the wood construction of the temporary structure,
the new building was a large brick edifice complete with mansard
roof, corner turret, and iron cresting on the rooftop. The main floor
contained the reception area and office space, and the third floor held
the wards for male patients. The obstetrical department occupied the
second floor, including its own kitchen and operating room.

A vital part of the new Misericordia Hospital was the School of
Nursing. The school graduated its first nurse in September 1909 and
produced 43 more nurses by 1922.

Renovations and Additions from 1906 to 1939
In the 16 years following its opening, the hospital remained much the
same except for the addition of sun rooms on the south side in 1914.
A further addition was made to the hospital tn 1922, raising the
number of beds to 175. With this addition, the
hospital almost doubled in size from the flrst
permanent structure.

The hospital continued to serve the people of
Edmonton throughout the depression, though not
$16,500. In the late 1930s, as the depression
showed signs of abating, plans for a new maternity
wing began in earnest.
Post-War Transformations
On January 20,1940 the new maternity wing was
opened. The fact that the first addition in nearly 20
years was devoted to maternity care reflected the
Sisters’ commitment to this type of care. This
wing was the first in a series of additions that
would radically transform both the appearance and
operation of the hospital.

Training Years under the Sisters of The Misericordia

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She graduated in 1931 having won the Dr. Redmond Medal for Medical Nursing.

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She continued working at the hospital until 1939 when she met her future husband while nursing his mother Sarah Jane Perkins.

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I remember a trip we made by train to Montreal in the early 60’s to visit Sister St. Christine who ruled the roost at the Misericordia Hospital for many years. She had retired to the Mother House in Montreal.

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Sister St. Christine and mom along with another sister who was our driver

She returned to her nursing career in 1958 after completing a nursing refresher course. She was head nurse on First Floor Maternity for 10 years until health issues forced her to retire in 1968.

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