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The profession grew out of the development and evolution of health practices during the historical periods. Health practices were the first instinctive forms of assistance. In a first stage of civilization, these actions guaranteed to man their continued survival, being in its origin, associated with women's work, characterized by the practice of caring in the early nomadic groups, against the bottom-of-the evolutionary conceptions and theological But as the domain of the means of healing came to mean power, man, combining this knowledge to mysticism, strengthened this power and seized it.
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The Nursing, the only references concerning the period in question relate to the practice of home deliveries and the unclear role of women of high social class who shared the activities of the temples with the priests.
The practice of health-priestly magic, addressed the mystical relationship between religious practices and health developed by the early priests in the temples. This period corresponds to the stage of empiricism, that occurred before the emergence of philosophical speculation, which occurs around the fifth century BC These actions remain for many centuries developed in the temples, which at first was both shrines and schools, where the primitive concepts of health were taught. Subsequently developed specific schools for teaching the art of healing in Southern Italy and Sicily, spread by the great centers of commerce in the islands and coastal cities.
In those schools pre-Hippocratic, were varied conceptions of the human body, its disorders and diseases, these conceptions, which has long marked the empirical phase of the development of health knowledge. The teaching was linked to the orientation of philosophy and the arts and the students lived in close connection with their teachers, forming families, which served as a reference for later organize themselves into castes. Health practices at the dawn of science - related to changes in health practices to the emergence of philosophy and the progress of science, where they then were based on relations of cause and effect. It begins in the fifth century BC, extending to the first centuries of the Christian Era.
The practice of health before and mystical priesthood, will now be a product of this new phase, based primarily on experience, knowledge of nature, in logical reasoning - that triggers a cause and effect of disease - and philosophical speculation, based on independent research and observation of phenomena, limited, however, by the almost total absence of anatomical-knowledge. This practice individualistic turns to the man and his relations with nature and its laws immutable. This period is considered by Greek medicine and Hippocratic period, highlighting the figure of Hippocrates that has already been demonstrated in the historical record, has proposed a new concept in health, dissociating the healing art of precepts mystical and priests, by using the inductive method, Inspection and observation. There is no clear characterization of nursing practice at this time.
Practices of health-medieval monastic focused the influence of socio-economic and political medieval feudal society and health practices and their relations with Christianity. This period corresponds to the emergence of nursing as a secular practice, developed by religious and covers the period from the medieval centuries V and XIII. It was a period that left behind a series of values that, over the years, were gradually accepted by the legitimate society as the inherent characteristics of nursing. Self-denial, the spirit of service, obedience and other attributes that give the Nursing, not connotation of practice, but the priesthood.
Health practices after monastic show the evolution of health care and, in particular the practice of nursing in the context of the movements of the Renaissance and Reformation. Corresponds to the period from the late thirteenth century to the early sixteenth century. The resumption of science, social progress and intellectual development of renancence and universities did not provide a growth factor for Nursing. Cloistered in religious hospitals, remained empirical and inconsistent for a long time coming fall apart even more from the movements of Reformation and the upheavals of the Holy Inquisition. The hospital, now neglected, becomes an unhealthy deposit of patients, where men, women and children use the same dependencies, beds crammed into collectives.
Under exploitation deliberate, considered a domestic service, with the decline of moral standards that supported the practice of nursing has become unworthy and unattractive to women of higher social caste. This stormy phase, which meant a serious crisis for nursing, remained for a long time and only on the threshold of the capitalist revolution is that some reform movements, the departed, especially, religious and social initiatives, trying to improve the conditions of service of staff hospitals.
Health practices in the modern world analyze the actions of health and in particular the nursing from the perspective of political-economic system of capitalist society. Emphasize the emergence of nursing as a professional activity institutionalized. This analysis begins with the Industrial Revolution in the sixteenth century and culminates with the emergence of modern nursing in England in the nineteenth century.