SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT The excerpts taken from this historical article by Kent Zimmerman, M.D., a mental health consultant to the California State Department of Health, provide insight about the role of public health nurses in working with pregnant women. Dr. Zimmerman, an expert in the field of the psychological problems of pregnancy and early childhood, was a part of an international group of psychiatric dignitaries who met in 1952 in France at a conference examining the state of psychological knowledge and care of children (Soddy, 1999). In this paper, the psychiatrist addresses the need for education and support in providing mental health services to clients in public health venues, a theme he reiterated in 1952. In this piece, he argued that staff nurses in public health agencies be trained in basics of psychiatry and that specialists be hired to serve as permanent consultants to public health workers to help with the most challenging nurse-client interactions, and with the emotions that accompany difficult interpersonal work. While knowledge has developed a great deal since the publication of this article in February 1947 in Public Health Nursing, readers may be surprised to see that interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork were ideals more than 50 years ago.