Elizabeth Kenny

Elizabeth Kenny
Elizabeth Kenny
  • Born: September 20, 1880
  • Died: November 30, 1952
  • Nationality: Australian
  • Profession: Nurse









Elizabeth Kenny was a self trained Australian Bush nurse who developed a controversial new approach for treating victims of poliomyelitis. Her method differed from the then conventional medical practice which called for placing affected limbs in plaster casts. Instead Kenny applied hot compresses to affected parts of patients bodies followed by passive movement of those areas to reduce what she called "Spasm." Kenny's principles of muscle rehabilitation became the foundation of physical therapy, or physiotherapy.

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At first, I was called a quack, a charlatan, and worse, year after year, in Australia, England and the United States, by men who simply refused to believe that a nurse from 'the bush' could devise a treatment which succeeded where they had failed.
He who angers you conquers you.
I came to America to teach my method - not to enter a research experiment.
I do not want medical men to discuss whether or not my work is valuable, because I know what it will do. I want them to tell me how best this new knowledge of rapidly restoring paralysed people to health and strength can be applied where it is needed. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I have a message to give to the world, and I shall not be thwarted.
I spent more time on dark ships in danger zones than any other woman in the world. Time
In the history of medicine, it is not always the great scientist or the learned doctor who goes forward to discover new fields, new avenues, new ideas. History
It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life. Life
'O sleep, O gentle sleep,' I thought gratefully, 'Nature's soft nurse!' Nature
Panic plays no part in the training of a nurse.
Some minds remain open long enough for the truth not only to enter but to pass on through by way of a ready exit without pausing anywhere along the route. Truth
The American doctor, in my opinion, possesses a combination of conservatism and that other quality which has put the United States in the forefront in almost every department of science - that is, an eagerness to know what it is really all about in order that he may not be the one left behind if there is something to it. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology

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