Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dr. Camilla S. Wood, RN, Ph.D.



Professor of Nursing Brigham Young University
History by Camilla Smith Wood written Spring 1991

A brief spiel of my professional and family life. I am Camilla Smith Wood, R.N., M.S., Ph.D. and a Professor of Nursing at Brigham Young University, College of Nursing. I was born Oct. 23 1926 at Galt, California. am one who is soon to retire. I'm going to retire from BYU but not from life as I have a long list of activities that need attention very soon.

age 20 Camilla Smith Wood - RN 1947 - Salt Lake County General Hospital Nursing Program.

I [Camilla] I was licensed as an R. N. when I was 20 years old. I received my B.S. in Education from the University of Utah at the same time that I graduated from the Salt Lake County General Hospital Nursing program. That was in June 1947 when I celebrated my first wedding anniversary and BYU College of Nursing was not yet born. I immediately became a Head Nurse on a Medical Unit at the Salt Lake County General Hospital, and later worked on a medical unit at L.D. S. hospital.

age 20 Camilla S. Wood - BS 1947 U. of U.
I [Camilla SMITH WOOD] and Anita Owens started from scratch the first practical nursing program in Utah at the Salt Lake Area Vocational School in the old Troy Laundry Building in Salt Lake in 1949. We developed the curriculum, purchased the equipment, oversaw the remodeling of the area assigned to us, recruited the students, developed the clinical areas, and taught the entire calendar year program. After teaching in this practical nursing program for a few years I went to work as evening supervisor at the Veterans Hospital on the Psychiatric Units. This was to save baby tending money. I only had to hire a baby sitter for a few hours every day for my four daughters [Gaye, Lark, Denise, Corinne], I only had to hire a baby sitter for a few hours every day for my four daughters, just between when I went to work and 5:00 p.m. when my husband got home from work. When Gaye, my oldest, turned five and started Kindergarten I went back to the Vocational School as the Director of the Practical Nurse Program, becausr I needed to see my children every day and I wanted week ends off with my family.


After a few years as director of this practical nursing program. I realized I needed more education. I wanted to get a M.S. in Med. Surg. Nursing, but couldn't bear the thought of moving to Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. As a family we had spent 6 week in Maine where I went to the University of Maine in Oreno. On our way to Maine we stopped off in Cleveland and I visited with the professors in charge of the Master's program. Instead of going to Cleveland I became one of four student in the first class of the first Masters program at the University of Utah. I received my M.S. in Psychiatric Nursing in August 1960 from the University of Utah with over 100 quarter hours of work. (One of my class mates commented, "they think we should take every class offered by the University.") I also had another child, our first boy [Wesley] in February of 1959 making five children. I went to school until I went into labor and went right back after delivery. I hired an older lady to come into the house to tend my first son and [his four older sisters].

Camilla S. Wood - MS 1960 U. of U. - mother of five.
Thesis "A Study of Nursing Personnel Perceptions of Hostile Patient Behavior"

I began teaching Psychiatric nursing in the undergraduate program at the U of U College of Nursing. During this time I worked for free one afternoon a week at the Community Mental Health Center seeing patients. Dr. Norman Anderson, a noted Psychiatrist went over the tapes I made during my sessions with patients to help me become a better therapist. Dr. Anderson is my friend to this day as he felt I was a 100% successful therapist.

During this time the Dean, Mildred Quinn felt that the College of Nursing faculty needed to know more physiology and Dr. Ivan Lytle of the Dept. of Biology was hired to give a physiology workshop to the faculty during the summers. I took this workshop and realized I wanted to work in physiology's and not psychiatry.

Under the tutelage of Hazel Macquin [U. of U. Head of the Department of Nursing Education 1943-1948 and firat Dean of the College of Nursing 1948-1954] I applied for and obtained a fellowship for doctor study from the U.S. Public Health Service. I did talk with my family about going back to school. My young son, Wesley thought it would be better if I went to cooking school and not get a Ph.D. in physiology.

Dean Mildred Quinn insisted I quit my job, even though I was eligible for sabbatical leave since I had been teaching for six years. I had no job. was a full time doctoral student and a mother of five children, when I found out I was pregnant [with my sixth child.]

My husband and I decided I should start the doctoral program anyway and if it was too difficult I would take time out. He was a good husband, father and mother to our 6th child a son [Jonathan] who was born between my second and third quarters. I should also thank my obstetrician Dr. Day who started me in labor before Christmas that year so that I would have time to recuperate before going back to school.

WOOD children 1 Dec 1968
I started my program in June of 1966 and finished it by passing my final orals on Dec 23, 1971. Dr. Ivan Lytle was my initial chairman and I had a committee of six. Since Dr. Lytle had left the University and was at the University of Arizona at the time of my final orals, Dr. John Spikes was my Chairman, with Dr. Wiley from the Medical School,and Dr. Choules , Dr. Lytle, Dr. Gray and Dr. Hathaway all from Biology Dept. I felt like I was performing before a large hostile audience. This was because Dr. Lytle who had flown to my orals from Arizona was taken to Idaho to land because of Fog at the airport. He had to travel back to Salt Lake on a bus and missed my final orals.

My Ph.D. was obtained by my being in school full time (year round) for five and one half years. By the time I had finished I had a teaching major in math, chemistry and physics plus a Ph.D. in Biology. I also passed reading tests in two languages, German and jFrench. Since our family was dependent on two incomes, my husband being a teacher we were heavily in debt by the time I finished. I had taken out school loans every year to pay bills. In Octorber 1970, Dean Mildred Quinn took pity on me and hired me back at the College of Nursing, I had only a few assignments and I finished up my research. Marilyn Hammond (my first cousin) who was working on her Masters degree at the U. of U. College of Nursing was a great help to me in finishing up my research. She assisted in collecting saliva samples from infants in the Salt Lake Valley. I thought I would be finished in 1970, but my committee thought I should collect more samples, which I did and finished in 1971.

Dr. Camilla S. Wood - 1971 Ph.D. U of U - mother of six
Molecular and Genetic Biology Dissertation “Factors Affecting the Development of Secretory Immunoglobulin A in the Saliva of Human Infant.”

My Dissertation was “Factors Affecting the Development of Secretory Immunoglobulin A in the Saliva of Human Infant.” This was done at a time Immunology was just being discovered. Because of this I traveled to New York University in Buffalo to work in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas B. Tomasi. I needed to know that the techniques I was using were appropriate to isolate and test for Immunoglobulin A., and they were.


In the Mountainwest News

Brigham Young University, College of NursingDean Elaine Dier, retiring Dean Maxine Cope, Dr. Camilla S. Wood (Associate Dean), 1979

In August 1973 I was recruited to BYU College of Nursing by Dr. Maxine Cope. I cam with the understanding that we would start a Masters Program and that I would be the director. The program was started and we had our first graduates in August 1976. Sue Harris and Ruth Amesquita were our first graduates. We prepared Nurse Practitioners in Family, Cardiovascular, Ontological and Neurological Nursing. Sue Harris did a project in which she initiated a group of Geriatric Clinics throughout Utah County, the first on was in Springville, Utah. These clinics are still functioning [1991]. We We also developed the Nursing Clinic in the Taylor Building on campus. This clinic was opened and initially run by myself, Patricia Isaacs, Sue Harris and a Graduate Student. During this time I was also the Physiology Editor of the Nurse Practitioner Magazine and contributed 15 papers.

Physiology Editor of the Nurse Practitioner Magazine 1977
(Physiology editor Nurse Practitioner Mag., Seattle, 1974-82)
Before we moved into the Kimball Towers I had a laboratory in the Widtsoe Building, in this laboratory I did research and had the help of graduate students as well as input from the Zoology faculty there. I also taught the physiology course to the undergraduate students offered by the Zoology Department.


When we moved into [the Kimball Tower] I had the opportunity to develop the physiology laboratory here. I also wanted time to do more of my own research and so I stepped down from being the director of the graduate programs, and Dr. June Leifson took over.

Since early in the 80’s I have been busy doing research, publishing and working on developing a Doctoral Program in the College of Nursing. I spent at least four summers working on the doctoral proposal only to have it turned down by the University. I guess that is my one big failure, not being able to start a Doctoral Program here at the College of Nursing before I retired. The other big sadness in my life was the death of my husband [Kirt DeMar Wood] on Thanksgiving Day 1987. He was a good husband and was as interested in my success as I was. Since his death life has been harder and very lonely.


Dr. Wood working in the lab abt 1980

Looking on the bright side, I have been active and contributed to the University by being on the Pre-med, library, research and excellence in the 80’s committees. I helped set up and was the first Director (now Associate Dean) of the graduate program, I helped develop the Nursing clinic, and the numerous geriatric clinics in Utah County, I helped to plan the College of Nursing as it now is and developed the physiology laboratory. I have been active in research and have published 19 papers and 11 abstracts in peer reviewed journals. I helped to write a software program to run the amino acid analyzer in the laboratory and to calculate the amino acid values of samples run on the analyzer. I have presented many papers both to the public and to a scientific audience on the components of human milk. I was President Elect and am now President of the BYU Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. I have 3 more papers in the mill and hope to have them published soon.

In a way I feel guilty because I am retiring when I could still contribute meaningfully to the research base and the knowledge of nurses in the field of infant nutrition. However since I have been active in nursing since I was 20 years old (and that is 45 years) I would really like to use my dwindling energy in doing all those things I have not had time to do. I would like to spend time with my children and my 25 grand children and [my] great grandchildren, pursue my hobbies of knitting, gardening, genealogy, and just sleep in the mornings.

As one of the former leaders in nursing in the state of Utah, my advice to the faculty is, when you are young get your Ph.D. in an area you are interested in but one in which you can contribute to the knowledge base of nursing. Develop your research area early and build on it, it takes many years to become a known researcher. Work with others, do not be afraid to ask others t help you, even others outside of nursing. Help to develop the field of nursing for others, it will always help you. Work to develop a Doctoral Program in Nursing here at BYU, this will help BYU College of Nursing to become recognized as a leading program in nursing in the United States. We are all in this together, your fellow faculty are your mentors and friends, treat them as such and work together to make a great College.

[After retiring from Brigham Young University in 1992 Dr. Camilla S. Wood served an L.D.S. Genealogical mission in the England Manchester Mission. She died 23 Feb 1999.]

Dr. Camilla S. Wood - RN, M.S., Ph.D.
and a Professor of Nursing at Brigham Young University, College of
Nursing.
(Retired 1992)

Who’s Who in the West, 1992-1993 ,23rd edition.

WOOD, CAMILLA SMITH, nurse physiologist, educator; b. Galt, Calif., Oct. 23, 1926; d. [23 Feb 1999;] [p.] George Ensign and Amy Ella (Hawkes) Smith; m. Kirt DeMar Wood, June 11, 1946 (dec. 1987) [died Nov. 26 1987]; children: Gaye, Lark, Denise, Corinne, Wesley Kirt, Jonathan Brett. BS with honors, U. Utah 1947, MS, 1960, PhD, 1972. RN, Utah. Asst. Prof. Coll. Nursing U. Utah, Salt Lake City, 1960-66, teaching assoc. dept. biology, 1970, assoc. Prof. Coll. Nursing, 1971-73; assoc. Prof. Coll. Nursing Brigham Young U. , Provo, Utah 1973-74; Prof. Brigham Young U., Provo, Utah 1974-; mem. Utah Profl. Rels. Com., Salt Lake City, 1960-66; presenter Internat. Auxology Conf., Exeter, Eng., 1988, La Leche League, U. Utah 1987, Internat. congress Nurses, Seoul, Korea, 1989, Physiology editor Nurse Practitioner Mag., Seattle, 1974-82; contbr. articles to profl. jours. Mem. ANA, Utah Nurses Assn. (bd. dirs.. 1975-77), Am. Physiology Soc., Sigma Xi (pres. Brigham Young U. chpt. 1990-91), Phi Kappa Phi. Republican. Mormon. Office: Brigham Young U Coll. Nursing 470 SWKT Provo UT 84602

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Many thanks for posting this wonderful review of Dr. Wood. She was an honored and much valued member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society (for whom I work), from her induction in 1986. Our members and their work are never forgotten.