Historical information

Sister Gertrude Lawson, graduated in 1887, pictured in the operating theatre in 1907. Sr Lawrence probably did not play an active role in the surgery, at this time the surgeons were assisted by a male attendant. In 1899 Sister Laura Pratt wrote, "There were 3 main operating days, the surgeons being Mr Henry O'Hara, Mr Cook and Mr Buchanan. There was one theatre sister whose duties were to prepare the theatre and attend all operations, buy and keep instruments in repair, prepare all types of sutures. She was on duty 24 hours for emergencies with a trained deputy on call from the ward in her absence. This system was altered about 1909 when each nurse at the end of her second year was given a month in the theatre"


A rare photo of the Alfred Hospital operating theatre 1907, at that time instruments were boiled in water and soda and most receptacles were enamel ware, rubber gloves were not introduced until 1908.

Physical description

Black and white photo of the operating theatre, Alfred Hospital.

Inscriptions & markings

The notice on the wall reads: "The floor being reserved for the hospital staff. Visitors are requested to take seats in the gallery."