Home Rules of an Asylum Insane British Curious Punishments


1. Those employed in the wards in the care of the patients, as their
Attendants, should remember that their first duty is to treat them with
unvarying kindness, respect and attention. Feelings of mutual good will,
can, with few exceptions, be successfully cultivated between Attendants
and those under their immediate care, and doubts may be justly
entertained of an Attendant's fitness, when these are wanting.

2. The first effort on the part of an Attendant, on receiving a patient,
should be to win his or her confidence, however insensible the patient
may be to kindly advances. Patients generally enter the wards with the
thorough conviction that evil is intended them, and the first show of
harshness or force, however slight, will confirm that impression, while
kind assurances, and manifestations of sympathy, quickly disarm them of
their false impressions, and the first great step in the way of cure is
begun. The Attendant should regard the patient as an honored guest, who
comes, tarries for a short time, and goes on his way, to give to the
world a good or evil report of his entertainer.

3. When a patient manifests opposition to the will of the Attendant, the
point should never give rise to protracted discussion, as opposition may
be only increased thereby. Patients will usually yield when mildly and
kindly informed that they are only asked to comply with a rule binding
on all, and that the request is not merely arbitrary. Whenever
continued resistance is anticipated, it is better to yield the point to
the patient, if the request made is one of no great importance, and
report the case to the Superintendent or Assistant Physician.

4. The muffs, sleeves, wristbands, or other means of confinement, are
never to be used unless by order of the Superintendent or Assistant
Physician; and the Attendant shall never, under any circumstances, use
greater force than is sufficient to secure the patient, himself, or
others, from the efforts of his or her violence, and after the patient
is secured in his or her room, the Superintendent or Assistant Physician
shall be informed of what has occurred.

5. During the evening, after patients have retired, one Attendant or
Assistant, shall always be present in each ward, to discover any
disturbance, and administer to any necessity that may arise, and no
Attendant shall ever leave the ward in which he or she is engaged,
without informing an Assistant of his or her intended absence. During
the day Attendants are expected to make the patients, and the patient's
clothing, and sleeping apartments, the objects of their most careful

6. On rising in the morning, Attendants shall see that the patients are
properly dressed, washed, hair combed, and otherwise in good condition
to appear at breakfast. The beds shall be made, rooms, halls, dining
rooms, water closets and stair-ways put in good order by 9 o'clock, from
April to September inclusively, and by 10 o'clock from October to March
inclusively. All soiled clothing, bedding, etc., shall be taken from the
building, at the earliest possible hour, before the air of the wards
becomes contaminated thereby. A straw bed once soiled or wet, shall be
immediately emptied and the tick sent to the laundry. The wards and
stair-ways shall be washed and swept as often as necessary to secure
perfect cleanliness. Attendants will be assisted by the patients in the
discharge of these duties, but are themselves alone responsible for
their prompt and faithful performance; when Attendants or Assistants are
engaged with their patients in any kind of outside labor, they shall
keep a correct account of the time of the patient employed, and report
the same at the office at the close of every week.

7. Attendants, in this Institution, are considered the companions, not
"keepers," of the patients, and, regarding themselves as such, they
shall strive to keep every one, whose physical health will admit of it,
engaged in some kind of amusement or employment in labor, as designated,
from time to time, by the Superintendent, or Assistant Physician. The
cultivation of fruits and flowers, the use of the library, reading room,
gymnasium, bowling alleys, and other means for mental, moral and
physical training, should be in every way encouraged.

8. The Attendants should see that the patients indulge in no pernicious
practices; those given to solitary habits must receive special
attention, and, as far as possible, induced to participate in the
pursuits and amusements of others. Indolent patients should be led about
the wards and yards, and induced to join in exercises; those, on the
contrary, who are weak, and restless, should be induced to take repose.

9. Attendants are forbidden to make walking out with their patients a
pretext for doing errands, or making calls for themselves, and they must
not go to town with the patients, when the state of the roads and fields
allow exercises in other directions, and they must be especially
vigilant that patients, when out, do not obtain possession of any
dangerous implements, matches, or other articles improper for them to
have, and strict search must be made for such immediately on their
return to the Asylum, and before they shall have time to secrete them in
the wards.

10. On the morning of Wednesday and Saturday of every week, each patient
shall receive a tepid bath, unless by reason of sickness or otherwise,
exceptions shall be made by the Superintendent, or Assistant Physician;
the male patients shall be shaven, and an inspection shall be made that
their hair and nails may be suitably trimmed, and the person generally
in cleanly condition. In trimming the hair, no more should be taken off
than necessary to secure a better appearance of the patient--the
practice, of cutting the hair of the insane close to the head, being
positively forbidden, unless, for some special reason, it shall be so
ordered by the Superintendent or Assistant Physician.

11. On Mondays and Thursdays the Attendants shall collect all clothing
designed for the wash, and deliver the same, with lists thereof, to the
Supervisors, at the assorting rooms, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays
they will assist the Overseers of the laundry to assort the clothing,
and place the articles of each ward to themselves for the inspection of
the Supervisors, who will compare them with the washing lists and make
their return thereon.

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