Florence Nightingale

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Florence Nightingale: The Founder of Modern Nursing

Abstract

Florence Nightingale believed that the nursing profession was “God’s calling” for her. Regardless, of the reputation that nurses had. Hospitals were dirty, smelly, overcrowded places that were full of diseases. Her focus was on the patients' health. She realized that once the patients were clean and genuinely cared for, their health improved. She made sure that the hospitals were clean. In which helped diseases from spreading to others. Florence had a great impact during the Crimean War. She and her nurses saved thousands of soldiers. She also gained the title “The Lady with the Lamp” for her late-night rounds. Florence was the first nursing theorist. One of her theories was the environmental theory which incorporated the restoration of the usual health status of the nurse’s clients into the delivery of health care. It is still practiced today. External factors surrounding patients affected their biologic, physiologic, and developmental process. She has contributed many aspects. Among them is her role in founding the modern nursing profession.

Florence Nightingale

Introduction

Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820 in Florence, Italy. She was the daughter of wealthy parents from England. She excelled in her studies. She loved to read, write, and especially math. As Florence got older she noticed she was not happy with her lifestyle. Women of her class were supposed to get married, have children, and be among other wealthy families. Florence was only seventeen years old when she decided to go into nursing. She considered it as a “calling from God” (Hill & Howlett, 2001). Nurses in England had a reputation for being drunken, untrained and uneducated. She begged for her parents to allow her to receive nurses’ training. They were angry towards her decision. However, this did not prevent Florence from pursuing her dream.

Overview of the theorist

Florence began to visit hospitals all over the world. She had a concern for the poor, the conditions that they lived in. This led her to become a primary advocate for improving medical care in the infirmaries. As far as Florence personal life, she was courted by several men. However, she did not want to get married. She believed that it would interfere with her nursing profession. During her visits, she trained as a sick nurse for four months in Kaiserswerth, Germany (Bloy, 2010). She kept on traveling and inspecting hospitals. It was shortly after she received a position in administration. During the Crimean War (1853), British troops lacked nursing and medical care. Florence offered her services to the War. She arrived with thirty-eight nurses to Scutari, Turkey. The soldiers were sick and wounded. Florence found the soldiers in: filth, no medicine, no food, mass infections were common. The hospitals were overcrowded , defective sewers, and no ventilation. The barracks hospitals were meant for 1,700 patients, instead it was packed to 4,000 (Hill & Howlett, 2001). Soldiers were dying from illnesses such as typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery. Once Florence took charge, the hospitals were cleaned and laundries were established. She raised funds to purchase supplies. The sanitary commission was also called to flush the sewers. This in turn decreased the death rates. Florence had high expectations of herself and the other nurses. She made additional rounds with her lamp, to check on patients. This is how she earned her title “the Lady with the Lamp”. She began to collect data, which demonstrated that most of the soldiers were killed by poor sanitary living conditions. Florence advocated for sanitary living conditions as a priority for hospitals. Deaths were reduced in the Army during peacetime (New World Encyclopedia, 2008). Florence career did not stop at this point. She returned to Britain as a heroine. She wrote Notes on Nursing, based on her views on...
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