1930s - 1960s
Training school for nurses was at the Clay Center Municipal Hospital on Seventh Street until the school closed around 1931-32. Girls in training went directly to the floor to care for patients and took six months to a year of college before doing any nursing.
In 1932, nursing wages were about $45.00 per month and included room/board and laundry of uniforms.
In 1937, there was a total of 27 doctors in the Clay County area. Sulfa drugs were used as an antibacterial because there were no antibiotics until penicillin was available in the 1940s. Nurse Bernice Kohlmeyer remembers when penicillin first came out and had to be tested- similar to how they test narcotics today.
By 1948, nurses received $200 a month plus meals in the hospital cafeteria and room/board. The Hospital lab department was located in the basement. During the height of the polio epidemic numerous spinal fluid counts on children and adults were performed especially during the night in the Emergency Room. The X-Ray department had a large size GE stationary X-Ray and GE shock-proof portable X-Ray.
Between 1940-1950 the doctors seen in the photo are Fritz Shepard, Swert Anderson, Bruce McVay, Warren Morton, Archie Butcher, Forrest Taylor, Carl Ruff, G.B. Mclvain, Roy Croson, George Bale, and Dr. Fink.
In 1954, The Clay Center Municipal Hospital becomes a county hospital and is renamed Clay County Hospital.
In 1962, Clay County Hospital opens at 617 Liberty with new features: air conditioning, piped in music, four electrically operated beds, 7 beds, non-conductive flooring and modern kitchen equipment. Open house to the public was on October 28, 1962.
In 1964, Television was installed in patient rooms and cardiograph and transmitter were purchased to transmit an ECG by long-distance telephone. In 1967, the Medical Arts Building was built for four doctors. In 1969, an expansion was completed - capacity of 55 beds,131 employees, 8 physicians, Physical Therapy, and ICU.