My notes on Florence Nightingale, written in 2008 while I attended Vancouver Island University’s Licensed Practical Nursing Program.
Dubbed the mother of modern nursing, Florence was very influential to nursing and changed the public’s view of nursing into something more positive.
Florence changed the conditions in the hospital and thus turned the mortality rate around just by cleaning the areas using asepsis, providing proper nutrition, adequate air circulation, and providing holistic care: “Treat the patient rather than the illness.”
Florence did simple, but very important things such as using sanitation: for example, she had used clean water for drinking and cleaning (prior, sheets and other items were washed in the river), as well she regularly changed bandages.
During the Crimean War, Florence and her three trained nursing partners saved thousands of lives. She had come from wealth and was able to stash gold coins into her hosiery and eventually used them to buy proper food for the soldiers. In doing this, she was promotin health.
Florence tracked statistics using her extensive education, and began research for scientific backing to present to the government in order to improve health care.
During her time as a nurse, Florence worked for free. Through her very noteworthy career, she pioneered many things (use of asepsis, holistic care, proper nutrition, etc.) she also improved the place of women in society while also improving the role of a nurse in society’s eyes… Although it didn’t happen overnight and took many decades to finally turn around.
Florence also established a formal nursing program and began modern nursing visit services. Although Florence had brought asepsis to the forefront, it was Semmelweis (1818-1865) who first identified and used antiseptic methods in order to control the high maternal death rate. Who knew that delivering a baby after returning from the morgue without washing your hands could affect the mortality rate? Thank goodness for modern medicine!