Transformation of Perceptions about Communities of Sisters of Mercy among the Leadership of the Russian Red Cross Society
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Transformation of Perceptions about Communities of Sisters of Mercy among the Leadership of the Russian Red Cross Society
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Ekaterina Efimushkina 
Affiliation: Orthodox Saint Tikhon's University for the Humanities
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The author of the article tries to trace the change in the views of the leadership of the Russian Red Cross Society about their structural unit, namely, the communities of sisters of mercy. The process of perception of the institution of communities by the Main Department of the RRCS is analyzed. The author comes to the conclusion that the Main Directorate, pursuing the sole goal of promptly training junior medical personnel, perceived the community of sisters of mercy primarily as an administrative apparatus — link of their humanitarian project which organized the dynamic training of the necessary personnel. At the same time, with the development of women's medical education and changes in Russian society, the prerequisites for the formation of a new class of professional medical workers from a significant part of nurses with a certain approach to their profession and corresponding needs arose. The inconsistency of this trend with the RRCS 'ideas about communities has caused misunderstandings between their administration and the sisters of mercy, which, in turn, led to a long and massive exodus of sisters from the communities. Only by the beginning of the 20th century, the General Directorate of the RRCS drew attention to this problem and initiated a revision of the functionality of communities within the Society and the requirements for them. However, the First World War and the revolutionary events did not allow this transformation to be completed.

sisters of mercy, Russian Empire, Russian Red Cross Society, nursing, humanitarian projects, female medical education, ladies' committees, local committees
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