Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Nancy Barnes, September 12, 1978

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Early experience at the nursing center

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Mrs. Nancy Barnes for the oral history project, Frontier Nursing Service, by Linda Green, at approximately 10:00 a.m. at Sizerock, Kentucky on 12 September, 1978.

Segment Synopsis: Nancy Barnes talks about where she was born and lived for the early years of her life. She recounts her early domestic labor experiences at a Frontier Nursing Service center, as well as her leisure activities. She describes her chores, specifically cooking. Following her marriage at the age of 17, Barnes spent six months at the nursing center. Barnes recounts the regular day-to-day activities of the nursing clinic and discusses the methods by which the facility maintained its food supplies. She discusses the types of patients that used the clinic, ranging from mothers and their children to the elderly.

Keywords: Assisting midwife; Domestic labor; Food; Gardening; Groceries; Grocery delivery; Hobbies; Horseback riding; Horseback travel; House girls; Kroger; Leisure activities; Marriage; Medical clinics; Medical services; Single mothers

Subjects: Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical centers--Kentucky; Midwifery--Appalachian Region; Nursing; Perry County (Ky.)

00:06:25 - Childhood and education

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Partial Transcript: Now, where did you go to school, and, uh--

Segment Synopsis: Barnes talks about her education from grade school in Perry County to high school. She mentions that she did not finish high school, dropping out when Perry County schools stopped providing bus service. She describes her experiences at home with four siblings and her grandfather who passed away at 97. Her parents were both school teachers for a time.

Keywords: Child labor; Division of labor; Familial obligation; Grade school; School bus system; Self-sustaining; Siblings

Subjects: Childhood; Chores; Education--Appalachian Region; Families.; Traditional farming--Kentucky

00:10:14 - Marriage and social life

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Partial Transcript: And then you got married soon after that?

Segment Synopsis: Barnes explains how she met her husband, and their social life, which included attending parties and social gatherings and interacting with the local community. She and her husband went to the movies about twice a week once they starting dating more seriously. She describes the role of strict parenting in determining many aspects of her social life.

Keywords: Adolescence; Alcohol; Bean-stringing parties; Courtship; Dating; Movies; Parenting; Parties; Square dancing parties; Strict parenting

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Marriage

00:15:01 - Father's sickness and death

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Partial Transcript: How was he taken care of, um, medically, when he was sick?

Segment Synopsis: Barnes describes her father's illness and death due to tuberculosis. She discusses how he refused to seek medical treatment because he believed there was nothing that could be done for him. He saw nurses who visited the home but they only gave him cough syrup and attempted to manage his suffering.

Keywords: Home medical services; Medical treatment; TB; Trust of medicine; Tuberculosis treatments

Subjects: Medical care--Appalachian Region; Nurses; Tuberculosis--Kentucky

00:17:04 - Giving birth to her first child

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Partial Transcript: And you had your first child in, in what year?

Segment Synopsis: Barnes describes the birth of her first child, Gerald, and how she had complications in the process that required a doctor to come to her home to help the nurse forcibly deliver the baby. She did not have an epidural and her husband had to drive to fetch the doctor because they didn't have telephones. She describes the role of the nurse, and the personal care that the nurse exhibited in assisting her during and after childbirth.

Keywords: Communication; Epidurals; Friendship; Home births; Home delivery; Home medical clinics; Midwife; Natural childbirth; Personal care; Pregnancy complications; Relationship building

Subjects: Childbirth; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Midwifery--Appalachian Region; Midwives--Appalachian Region; Nurses

00:24:01 - Second and third child

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Partial Transcript: And then your second child was also an FNS baby?

Segment Synopsis: Barnes describes the experience of giving birth to her second and third child. She compares the experience of the second and third to the first pregnancy, and describes some of the complications she experienced, including contracting influenza during her third pregnancy. She had a difficult time recovering from the illness associated with the flu and her third pregnancy.

Keywords: Childrearing; Illness; Influenza; Medical clinics; Midwifery; Nursing; Personal health; Pregnancy complications; Travel

Subjects: Childbirth; Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Midwifery--Appalachian Region; Midwives--Appalachian Region

00:36:18 - Fourth and fifth child / tuberculosis

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Partial Transcript: And so the next child was--

Segment Synopsis: Barnes describes the pregnancy and birth of her fourth and fifth child. She describes the fourth as easy with no complications and no flu. Following her fifth child, she contracted tuberculosis and had to stay in a hospital in London, the only nearby TB center, from January to March. Her fifth child was the first one born in a hospital.

Keywords: At-home care; Delivering babies; Gender and domestic work; Gender and parenting; Gendered division of labor; Home birth; Illness; Nursing; Quarantine

Subjects: Childbirth; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Midwifery--Appalachian Region; Midwives--Appalachian Region; Tuberculosis--Kentucky

00:47:08 - Hospital birth versus at-home birth

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Partial Transcript: And how is it different to have the birth in the hospital? Than at home?

Segment Synopsis: Barnes describes some of the differences she recalled from giving birth to her fifth child in a hospital versus her previous four children, who had been at-home deliveries. She recalls the lingering effects of many of her earlier ailments. She describes her propensity to cooperate within the hospital.

Keywords: At-home births; Bottle feeding; Bottle-feeding; Breast-feeding; Breastfeeding; Child rearing; Home births; Home delivery; Hospital births; Medical treatment; Nursing

Subjects: Childbirth; Hospitals--Kentucky; Medical care--Appalachian Region

00:51:38 - Changes to medical clinics

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Partial Transcript: Now--and now, if you went to a clinic it would be at Brutus?

Segment Synopsis: Barnes talks of the changing times and the move away from home visits to a clinic. She describes the convenience of having a clinic to visit, given that most people nowadays have a car. She also describes the overall improvement in the system. She describes the way the community views and relates to nurses. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Changes to healthcare; Changes to nursing; Community perceptions; Convenience; Medical clinics; Technological advances

Subjects: Frontier Nursing Service, Inc.; Medical care--Appalachian Region; Medical centers--Kentucky