The Training School (for Nurses) of Spring Grove State Hospital

 Graduating Class of 1931

This picture was taken on the front lawn of the Main Building, upon the occasion of the graduation of the Training School of Spring Grove State Hospital class of 1931. (Note that the subjects are each holding their diplomas.) The man on the right in the first row was the president of the class, the other male student was its treasurer, and the woman standing in the back row to the far right was the class's vice president. The front of the Main Building can be seen in the background, through the trees. The school's one-year practical nursing curriculum included lectures in medical and communicable diseases, bacteriology, hygiene, obstetrics, hydrotherapy, anatomy, dietetics, and bandaging. In 1931 the students lived in housing that was provided by the hospital, probably in the Main Building. The school's colors were blue and orange (the colors seen in the Spring Grove Hospital Center flag), and it actually had a school song. Founded in 1929, the Training School for nurses continued to operate at Spring Grove into the 1960s.

A number of the students wrote poems for publication in their yearbook. For example, Hattie Plunkert, the woman seen seated immediately to the right of the class president, wrote one such poem -- the first stanza of which may be found below. Like many of the graduates of the hospital's nursing training school, Ms. Plunkert went on after graduation to work as a staff member at Spring Grove. (By 1943 she was Nursing Supervisor of the Main Building.)

The Song of Symptoms

Sing a song of symptoms
A body full of pain,
Four and Twenty doctors
All with different names,
For the diagnosis
Of your chief complaint.
Makes you feel like giving up,
And wishing that you ain't.

Hattie M. Plunkert, class of '31