Florence Nightingale and Elizabeth Garret Anderson

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Florence Nightingale was born in 1820 to a wealthy family in Italy. When she was seventeen she showed an interest in training as a nurse. At first her family refused to let her become a nurse because it wasn’t a suitable job for an educated woman. However Florence refused to give up and finally convinced her family to grant her permission to train as a nurse. In 1851 Florence trained as a nurse in Kaiserwerth hospital in Germany. By 1853 she was already running a hospital in London. Florence is most famous for her work in the Crimean War (1854-1856). She travelled to Scutari in Turkey, and was asked to manage the nursing of injured British soldiers. Florence found the hospital conditions to be appalling. Florence still believed miasma (the belief that disease is spread by rotting matter) was to blame for diseases spreading. When Florence first arrived to help care for the injured soldiers her ideas were dismissed. It was after her ideas were published in British newspapers that she was allowed to act on them. She soon hurried about making sure sanitation was improving drastically and the hospital stayed clean. She also organised care and supplies for the wounded soldiers. Her contribution helped the death rate among the soldiers drop by 40%. Florence Nightingale returned to Britain in 1856. During October that year she had an interview with Queen Victoria and in 1857 she gave evidence to the Sanitary Commission. This resulted in the Army Medical College being organised. In 1859 Florence Nightingale spread her opinions by publishing two books, Notes on Hospital and Notes on Nursing. Nightingale raised £59,000 to improve the quality of nursing and in 1860 she used the money to set up Nightingale School and Home for Nurses in London. She also contributed towards the training of nurses. In 1861 Florence also helped King’s College Hospital. Florence also had strong opinions about the rights of women. She published several books on women’s rights. She...
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