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Novel Editing: Polio Research, Part 2

If you’re anything like me, you haunt garage sales, thrift stores, and old book stores, and spend hours looking through the books. I drive my family c r a z y!

In my search, I happened upon this medical book for nurses. It’s a university textbook from 1941:. “A Textbook of Medical Diseases for Nurses: Including Nursing Care” by Arthur A. Stevens, A.M., M.D.

I have read biographies and memoirs about people who have encountered polio, combed countless websites about polio, and read non-fiction books by researchers and doctors. My absolute favorite is “Post-Polio Paradox” by Richard L. Bruno.

But I have never secured a book as detailed at this old medical nursing textbook from 1941. In it, I’ve discovered detailed information about how nurses handled polio patients in the hospital. The line that made me smile: “The patient must be kept clean and dry and the undersheet free from wrinkles and crumbs” (147). I’m sure that chore was hard to do with cantankerous kids!

I’m excited to use this book for the novel I’m editing. The main character contracts polio, and although I have researched the subject for several years, it’s always nice to have a medical book close by.

What kinds of books are helpful to you in your research?


2 thoughts on “Novel Editing: Polio Research, Part 2

  1. My mother just brought home a Medical Health Book from 1927 that is AMAZING! It was meant for wives and mothers since they were the ones at home and deemed to be the caregivers in the family. The content is as rich as any medical textbook and is well over 1000 pages long. It even has diagrams with flaps. I also love collecting old, rare books. The information in them is so much better than the Internet. 🙂

    1. Crystal,
      What a find! I’ll have to keep my eye open for a copy. 😉

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