Skip Navigation Bar
 

Exhibition: Nurses Take A Stand

While volunteering at a battered women’s shelter in Chicago in the early 1980s, nursing student Dan Sheridan began to redefine the role medicine should play in treating patients when he saw the injuries of the women who came to the shelter. This awareness framed how Sheridan pursued his nursing education and his career.

  • “Battered Women: Developing a Policy and Procedure for Emergency Room Treatment,” Dan Sheridan, 1982

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine

    While pursuing his bachelor’s in nursing, Sheridan wrote the first policy and procedure on domestic violence for the emergency room at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago.

  • “RCASA Plans Workshop on Battered Women,” RUSH Reporter, Dan Sheridan, 1982

    Courtesy Rush University Medical Center Archives, Chicago, IL

    During his first year as a student at Rush College School of Nursing (Chicago, IL), Sheridan founded the Rush Coalition Against Spouse Abuse, an all-volunteer group that sought to raise awareness and educate medical providers about domestic violence. The coalition regularly sponsored workshops like these, which provided information and resources on how to effectively treat women who were battered.

  • Take-away referral and resource cards for patients experiencing domestic violence, Rush Coalition Against Spouse Abuse, ca. 1980s

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine

    Founded by nursing student Dan Sheridan, the Rush Coalition Against Spouse Abuse produced small referral cards to provide information to patients who were victims of violence. These small cards could be easily hidden from abusers.

    Take-away referral and resource cards for patients experiencing domestic violence, Rush Coalition Against Spouse Abuse, ca. 1980s

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine

  • Guidelines for the Treatment of Battered Women Victims in Emergency Room Settings, Dan Sheridan, Linda Belknap, Barbara Engel, Susan Katz, Patricia Kelleher, 1985

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine

    Sheridan’s earlier work on developing guidelines for treating women who were battered was later approved by the Chicago Hospital Council and published by the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network.

  • Dan Sheridan addresses a group of nurses collaborating to improve women’s lives, ca. 1990s

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine

    Throughout his career, Sheridan published and lectured widely on the role of nurses in providing treatment and intervention for women who were battered.

    “Advocacy with Battered Women: The Role of the Emergency Room Nurse,” Response, Daniel Sheridan, 1987

  • Rush Coalition Against Spouse Abuse (RCASA) advocacy button, ca. 1980s

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine

  • Dan Sheridan’s employee identification badges, 1995–1996

    Courtesy National Library of Medicine

    Sheridan continued to connect medicine and violence throughout his career, pushing the medical field to recognize battering as a health issue. After leaving Chicago, he opened a family violence intervention program at Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital in 1990.

While volunteering at a battered women’s shelter in Chicago in the early 1980s, nursing student Dan Sheridan began to redefine the role medicine should play in treating patients when he saw the injuries of the women who came to the shelter. This awareness framed how Sheridan pursued his nursing education and his career.