Vintage Girl Scout Online Museum

 

Girl Scout Hospital Aides

The Girl Scout Hospital Aide program was launched in 1942 to answer the need for help in America's hospitals. World War II had drastically depleted the supply of able volunteers that routinely helped in the hospital setting. Senior Girl Scouts completed training and volunteered their time in a hospital type setting.  According to the American Journal of Nursing's January 1944 article High School Girls and Hospital Service  the type of training they received varied with the hospital they worked in. Some Senior Girl Scouts received several hours of formal classroom type training before getting to work, others were given on the job training. 






          

These photos were submitted by Ward Ryan of his mother when she was a Hospital Aide, showing her smock with the Senior Service Scout patch.
 
GSUSA never offered an official uniform for this program, so some creative Girl Scouts sewed pinafores out of green and white striped fabric, to look similar to the "candy stripe" hospital volunteers. Others wore armbands, or simply their Senior Girl Scout or Mariner uniform with a white smock.


Marin County Girl Scout Hospital Aides 1947


After completing a set number of hours in training, the girls would receive their Hospital Aide patch to sew onto their pinafore. This patch was offered from late 1945 until 1952. Some programs also offered a "capping" ceremony, where the girls would receive a nurse's cap to wear while working.
 
Activities included assisting with ward duties such as feeding patients, or clerical or secretarial work, messenger service, making surgical supplies, care of hospital equipment, clean and make beds, carrying trays and making dressings.

After 1952, Senior Girl Scouts working as hospital aides would wear the Senior Scout Service patch. In 1953  "program bars" were offered for uniformed wear, color-coded to the type of service given. Hospital Aides wore a red bar.

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Senior Scout Service patch



1953 Senior Girl Scout Hospital Aide program bar