Florence Nightingale’s childhood, youth and education
Florence Nightingale was born in Florence in 1820. She was instrumental in bringing social recognition to the profession of nursing, as well as to nursing itself.
A life for the sick and the poor
Florence came from a sheltered home; her parents were wealthy. Young Florence’s interest was in the poor and the sick. The young girl realized very early on that there was a lot wrong with the field of nursing. Her plan was to improve health care and to help with it herself.
So at age 25, she decided to devote herself to nursing and began training as a nurse. However, hospitals were few and far between at the time. Sick people were usually cared for at home, if that was possible. The prestige of nurses in the mid-19th century was. The situation was very bad at the beginning of the twentieth century. For this reason, Florence’s family also balked at her plans to take up this profession. In the end, her parents gave in.
In 1850, Florence took over the management of a nursing home, which primarily took in governesses. Governesses were not married and had one of the few professions that women were allowed to have at that time. But since they usually had no family to care for them in case of illness, such a nursing home was founded.
Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War
In 1854, the Crimean War broke out, in which the Ottoman Empire joined England and France in fighting Russia. This war was very cruel, it is called one of the first modern wars of position in the history of the world. Such a war of position, in which soldiers often had to hold the fort in fortifications, there was a particularly large number of wounded.
There was a shortage of nurses and trained paramedics. Diseases often broke out, so many soldiers died not on the field at all, but from a plague, such as cholera. At least, that was the situation until the British government gave Florence Nightingale the task of organizing nursing care in the field. Together with a team, she first of all ensured better conditions in terms of cleanliness. At the same time, she did not spare herself. She was called “Lady with the Lamp”, because she often personally looked after the sick in the late evening and night hours, carrying a lamp with her. So she could save the lives of many men during this war. However, Florence’s achievement lay less in nursing than in her talent for organizing and improving conditions, especially in the area of hygiene.
The first textbook for nurses
A school for nurses
She pursued a holistic approach to medicine, so her thinking was already quite modern. She was not solely concerned with the person’s illness, but looked at their circumstances, what they ate, how they cared for themselves, and where and how they lived. She also kept focusing on the fact that people should pay attention to hygiene. 1860 Florence Nightingale founded the Nightingale School of Nurses. There, nursing became a teaching profession. Now nurses could be trained properly. Florence Nightingale received many honors during her lifetime. Her work also influenced Henri Dunant, who founded the Red Cross in 1864.
Did Florence Nigthingale fight for the emancipation of women??
Although Florence led an independent and self-sufficient life and never married, she herself was not a proponent of women’s emancipation. She also did not support women’s demands to be allowed to study medicine because she felt that was unfeminine. In this point she remained attached to her time. Her personal life, however, is a testament to a strong female personality who put her talents to work and went the way she wanted to go. Within the limits of her possibilities she accomplished a great deal. She died at the age of 90 in 1910.
When the war was over, she wrote a book in which her experiences during the Crimean War found their way into a textbook and also put down her knowledge in nursing in a textbook. This was the first textbook for nurses that ever existed.
She herself was in bad health after returning from the war and could hardly work even in nursing care. But she visited hospitals and poorhouses, collected data and facts and evaluated them. She repeatedly lobbied politicians to improve the conditions within the health care system.
Quotes from Florence Nightingale
She herself was in poor health after returning from the war and could hardly work even in nursing. But she visited hospitals and poorhouses, collected data and facts and evaluated them. She repeatedly lobbied politicians to improve conditions in the health care system.
There are also said to be some quotes from the famous nurse, which ultimately also describe her personality to some extent. This includes the following:
“Heart, you lose very much if you do not endure anything!”
“Wise and humane treatment of the patient is the best protection against infections.”
“True religion is to have no will but the will of God.”
“Better to die ten times, standing in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than to stand idle on the shore.”
“If there were no one who was dissatisfied with what he had, the world would never get better.”