Florence Nightingale is famous for her work in the military hospitals of the Crimea. She established nursing as a respectable profession for women. When she was 24, she procured government reports on national health conditions from a friend in Parliament, Sidney Herbert, which she fastidiously studied in the predawn hours. She indexed and tabulated facts and figures and soon became a self-taught expert on hospitals and sanitation. In 1851, she studied nursing for three months. Two years later, she was appointed superintendent of the Institution for the care of Sick Gentlewomen in London. Her administrations were very successful and so were the changes made to the Institution. During the Crimean war, Florence was asked to go to Turkey to manage the nursing of British soldiers. She found the hospital conditions to in a very poor state. Many of the patients were unclean and were sleeping in dirty, overcrowded rooms with no warmth or proper food. Because of these things, diseases spread quickly. As a result the death rate in the hospital was very high. Florence and her nurses helped to change these conditions. They set up a clean kitchen feeding the patients with their own supplies and asked for help from the wives of the wounded. They then could properly care for the patients and the death rate decreased.
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was a pioneering physician and political campaigner, the first Englishwoman to qualify as a doctor. Elizabeth as a nursing student at Middlesex Hospital and attended classes intended for male doctors, but was barred after complaints from other students. As the Society of Apothecaries did not specifically forbid women from taking their examinations, in 1865 she passed their exams and gained a certificate which enabled her to become a doctor. The society then changed its rules to prevent other women entering the profession this way. In 1866 she established a dispensary for women in...
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