How well do you know Florence Nightingale? Do you know that she rebelled her mother and sister for her call in nursing? Florence Nightingale was born in Villa Colombia to a British family that was rich and of upper class to her parents who were William Edward Nightingale and Frances Nightingale. She was named after the city in which she was born which is Florence located in Italy on 12th May 1820. In February 1837 while she was only 17, Florence believed that she had a call from God, to join nursing. Despite causing anger as well as distress to her mother and her sister who expected her to take the role of being a responsible mother and wife, Florence rebelled. According to her, marriage was only going to interfere with her nursing call and that is why she rejected the poet as well as politician Richard Monckton Milnes who courted her (Nightingale 15)
Florence was determined about pursuing her nursing career and worked hard in educating herself in the nursing art and science. This is despite the opposition that she encountered from her family as well as the society. She made a major contribution in the Crimean War where she and the nurses she had trained found soldiers who were badly wounded not being cared properly by medical staff thatwas overworked (Zemlicka 21). There was no equipment for the patients food processing, medicines were less, hygiene was neglected and there were common mass infections.During the beginning of the 20th century, the death rate had reduced from 42% to 2% and this was attributed to her hygiene improvement which she did by herself or by calling for assistance from the Sanitary Commission.Florence gained the title ‘the lady with the lamp’because she was seen at night making solitary rounds around the sick while all other medical officers had retired for bed (Robbins 22). She was considered a pioneer in the medical tourism concept this is due to the letters she wrote from 1856 of spas in Ottoman Empire. The letters detailed on the physical descriptions, health conditions, dietary information as well as other important details of the patients that she directed there (Nightingale & Goldie 2). In July 1860, Nightingale was able to set up a Training School named after her at St. Thomas’ Hospital which is currently known as the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery. The notes that she wrote on nursing, served as the curriculum cornerstone at her school as well as other established nursing schools. The book also made sales in the general public and gained the consideration of a classic introduction to nursing.
Nightingale was also an advocate for the care improvement in the civilian and military hospitals in Britain.She wrote books like Notes on Hospitals which entails correlation of techniques in sanitary to medical facilities. ‘Notes on Nursing’ which became the most valued textbook in nursing at the time, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army and Notes on matters affecting the Health. She made an achievement when she introduced trained nurses to care for the sick from the beginning of 1860s in England and Ireland (Nightingale 30).
Later in her life, Nightingale made a sanitation comprehensive statistical study in India and this became the leading figure as far as introduction of public health service as well as improved medical care in India was concerned.She lobbied for a Royal Commission establishment into the Indian situation successfully in the years 1858 and 1859. In 1873, after 10 years of conducting sanitary reform, she reported that the soldiers’ mortality in India had reduced from 69 people per 1000 to 18 (Robbins 25).
Nightingale really valued care and that is why she introduced the nurses training program in 1860. The school’s mission was to train nurses who would work in hospitals, teach as well as work with the poor.The intention was that, in their homes students cared for people, an advancing appreciation in reputation as well as today’s nurse professional opportunity (Nightingale & Goldie 232). Her lasting contribution was her role in modern nursing profession founding. She was able to set an example of commitment to patient care, compassion as well as thoughtful and diligent hospital administration. Every year, the International Nurses Day gets to be celebrated on her birthday.Her declaration campaign that is established throughout the world by nursing leaders aims to build a grassroots movement globally. She was able to inspire many U.S. Army nurses during the Vietnam War, sparking aninterest renewal in her work and life. There are many foundations, including hospitals that are named after Nightingale 8in honor of her care in the health and nursing industry. They include Nightingale Research Foundation located in Canada that is dedicated to chronic fatigue syndrome study and treatment which she is believed to have had (Nightingale 39)
Florence Nightingale is indeed a real hero in the Nursing and health care industry. By adhering in her call for nursing she indeed brought a lot of good change in the industry. She was able to sacrifice her life for her call and this way she reduced the death rate of Soldiers in the Crimean War as well as the Vietnam War. She was able to mentor many of the nurses she trained who later became great people in the nursing profession (Zemlicka 13). There is indeed a hope in the future since the United Nations has embraced her declaration campaign and come up with two resolutions aimed to improve the Nursing industry and ensuring a healthy world. Florence Nightingale indeed lived a life that was full of passion, love and care. If we emulate her, we can indeed make the world a better place as well as keep her spirit alive.
Nightingale, Florence, Goldie, Sue, M. Florence Nightingale: letters from the Crimea, 1854- 1856. Manchester University Press ND, 1997. Print.
Nightingale, Florence. Cassandra: an essay.Old Westbury, NY: Feminist Press,1979. Print.
Robbins, Trina. Florence Nightingale: Lady with the Lamp. Bloomington, MN: Capstone Press, 2007. Print.
Zemlicka, Shannon. Florence Nightingale. Naas: Millbrook Press, 2002. Print.
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