What Is Nursing in Ancient Civilization?

Nursing is a profession that has been around for centuries. It involves the care of individuals who are sick, injured, or in need of medical attention.

The practice of nursing can be traced back to ancient civilizations where it played a crucial role in the overall health and wellbeing of communities. Let’s take a look at what nursing was like in ancient civilizations.

Ancient Egyptian Nursing

One of the earliest records of nursing can be found in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians had a highly organized medical system, and nurses were an integral part of it. Nursing was primarily done by women, and they were highly respected for their skills and knowledge.

The role of nurses in ancient Egypt was multifaceted. They not only cared for the sick but also served as midwives during childbirth. They were responsible for keeping patients clean, administering medication, and providing emotional support to both patients and their families.

Greek Nursing

In ancient Greece, nursing was also primarily done by women. Greek nurses were known as “iatrosophists” which means “wise women.” They were often slaves or lower-class citizens who received little formal education but had extensive knowledge of herbal remedies and other natural cures.

Greek nurses cared for patients in their homes and also worked in hospitals called “asklepieions.” These hospitals were dedicated to the god Asclepius, who was believed to have healing powers. Nurses at these hospitals used techniques such as massage, hydrotherapy, and diet therapy to help patients recover from their illnesses.

Roman Nursing

In ancient Rome, nursing was considered a low-status profession that was often left to slaves or prisoners. However, there were some wealthy families who hired private nurses to care for their loved ones.

Roman nurses were responsible for tasks such as cleaning wounds, changing dressings, and preparing medications. They also provided emotional support to patients and their families.


Nursing has come a long way since its early days in ancient civilizations. Today, nurses are highly trained professionals who work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, and private homes. They are responsible for providing care to patients of all ages and backgrounds.

In conclusion, nursing has played a crucial role in the overall health and wellbeing of communities throughout history. From ancient Egypt to modern-day hospitals, nurses have been there to provide comfort and care to those in need.