A Visit to the Hospital


The first hospitals were not very nice places to be.  They were usually crowded, dirty places where the poor or very ill went--often to die.  People who could afford it provided care for a sick family member in their homes.  Since people did not know how to prevent diseases, a hospital was a good place to become even sicker!


In the late 1800s, two things happened that greatly improved the conditions in hospitals.  One of these was the discovery of the importance of cleanliness in preventing the spread of disease.  When hospitals were cleaned up, they became both safer and more pleasant.  The second improvement was the use of anesthetics, or drugs to control pain.  Imagine what it was like to have an operation without anything to deaden the pain!


As medical care improved and became more scientific, there was a greater need for hospitals and the special equipment and services they could provide.  In the early 1900s, many new hospitals were built.  Today, we take it for granted that a clean, modern hospital will be nearby.



Learn more about changes in medical care in your community by answering the questions below.


  1. What is the name of your nearest hospital? _______________________________

  2. When was it built? ______________

  3. How many beds does it have? _____________

  4. How many people work there? _____________

  5. When was the first hospital in your community built? ______________

  6. How many beds did it have? ________________

  7. How many people worked there? _______________



Courtesy of the Warren County Historical Society