The doctor in a small Prairie town had many duties. The doctor fixed broken limbs, diagnosed and treated illnesses, delivered babies, and pulled teeth if there was no dentist in town. The doctor sometimes traveled to the patient’s home if the person was unable to come to town. There were no hospitals in the early days and not all towns even had a doctor.
Doctors in small towns had many duties to keep their patients healthy.
PHOTO CREDIT: SASKATCHEWAN HISTORY ALBUM
This is a nursing student in 1933.
Settlers brought family cures and remedies with them. Many women became both doctor and nurse for their family. They relied on herbs and other plants to make poultices, teas, syrups when they were ill.
Learning about the local herbs and plants was extremely important to improve poor health If the settlers were lucky and had good relations with local First Nations people, they would have good teachers in this area.
There were no hospitals so babies were born at home, surrounded by female relatives and neighbours. Sometimes doctors were there but often it was midwives who helped with the births. Midwives were women who helped other women to deliver their babies.