Florence Nightingale Essay

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Leslie Burlingame

Florence Nightingale
What is a hero? In my view a hero is someone that goes out of their way to do things for other people then worry about themselves and their very devoted to what they love to do. My hero is Florence Nightingale; she changed the hospitals and saved lives with her determination, compassion, and hard work.

Nursing was once an occupation with little respect: people did not think you had to have special training or skills to be a nurse, and most nurses were poor and uneducated. It was very unusual for Florence, who came from the upper class, to work in a hospital. The hospital conditions were more sanitary after she reorganized everything. Funds and donations flooded into hospitals and the patients received better care. Hospitals around the world were changed forever, and caring for the sick became an honorable profession thanks to Florence.

She was driven by a dream. She believed that her attraction to nursing was god’s will or “a calling” and because of that she made many personal sacrifices to pursue her professional life with intensity. Her family disapproved of her decision to take up the nursing profession, which was seen in her day as a vocation for lower classes, one carried out under harsh conditions in dirty hospital environments. Her family did not stop her from her goal. She studied nursing for nine years and began caring for the sick when she was at the age of 33 years old.

Nightingale used her own money to make the hospital a cleaner, healthier and more efficient place for patients. She brought in basics including bandages, extra clothes, scrub brushes, and better food. She also took out the dirty clothes to be washed. She sent reports back to London about the patients at night, moving about each floor comforting her patients with a lamp in hand. This intimate relationship with her patients earned her the title of “Lady with the Lamp.”

The male hospital team often resented her...
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