Knoxville Hospitals’ Beds and Nurse Situation (1949)

Scarcity of Hospital Beds Ends, Nurse Situation Remains Unchanged

Knoxville Journal, December 16, 1949 (page not noted on clipping)
There is no longer a scarcity of hospital beds and rooms here, but officials report little change in the nursing situation has appeared during the past few months. At East Tennessee Baptist, newest of the city’s four major hospitals, one floor has been closed for the Christmas season.  Administrator Harold Prather said December is always a light month at hospitals, but the number of patients has dropped since Nov. 1. He attributed some of the recent drop to the ALCOA and United Mine Workers’ strikes.  The hospital staff has been fairly stable since about the middle of July, Prather said.  The institution was opened a little more than a year ago. Baptist Hospital has a full staff of nurses now and there is ample help to fill other positions, he said.  Some changes have been made, but there have been no major layoffs. Sister Mary Annunciata, superintendent of St. Mary’s Hospital, said rooms are available there.  However, she added the patient load has always been light in December as most surgery is put off until after Christmas if possible. She said the hospital is amply staffed but that graduate nurses are still more difficult to find than other types of employes [sic]. General Hospital does not have many private rooms, and most of them remain occupied, but there are a number of empty beds on the wards, Business Manager Charles Blackman, Jr., reported.  He also attributed some of the vacancies to a seasonal drop. General has about the same number of graduate nurses it has had for some time, Blackman said.  The relative scarcity of graduates is a condition which hasn’t changed much lately, he added.  The remainder of the staff stays about the same all the time, he said. There are plenty of beds and some rooms vacant at Fort Sanders Hospital, Supt. Harry L. Maloney said, but many of the rooms are in specialized departments such as obstetrics and pediatrics.  The help situation at Fort Sanders is much improved, and the staff has as many graduates as needed, he said.

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