Historical Development of Nursing Timeline

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  • Topic: Nursing, Nursing school
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Historical Development of Nursing Timeline
Nursing originated from the intuitive approach of caring for the sick members of the family. The profession did not exist as a distinct discipline before the birth of Christ. In this period, nursing was based on instinctive actions and was not acquired from formal education. It did not require an evidence of training or education and was solely based on observation and experience. It was believed that it is a way of love, compassion, and kindness that was expected and performed by women. Nursing is said to be an action that accounts to the innate way of women in nurturing others (Potter, 2009). During the intuitive period, people believed that sickness was caused by the invasion of the evil spirits or as a result of the anger of the Gods. The people on this era believed on witchcraft and magic. They come to the so called Shaman, medicine man or witch doctor that possesses a special power to cure and drive away illness by making use of prayers, sacrifices, hypnosis, charms, dances, incantation, white magic, dances, purgatives, massage, fire, water and herbs. Trephining is considered the last option to drive the evil spirits away from the body by drilling a hole in the skull with a stone without using any kind of anesthesia (Potter, 2009). Many more eras came and every nation initiated specific practices and contribution in the nursing or medical profession. The Egyptians (4000 B.C.) mastered the art of embalming based from the awareness in particular body parts. They also placed the slaves and family members take care of the sick. The Babylonians (2000 to 1000 B.C), on the other hand believed in the Code of Hammurabi that provided with protocols that included medical regulations. They followed the practices such as paying fees and the right to choose medical procedures. The Indians (1000 to 500 B.C.) had described different types of diseases. They also developed a well-made sanitation system and provided the process of diagnostic examinations. The Greeks (1200 B.C.) were considered as the real founders of Medical Science, because of their ability to collect and record observations regarding different conditions. The Romans (800 B.C.) built constructions where soldiers and slaves were treated to expand manpower. The Christian era (50 A.D.) was mainly inspired by the word of Christ by serving the poor and the sick. During the Dark Period of nursing (18th century), there was a lack of people joining the religious congregations. Furthermore, the emperor of France, Napoleon, closed the monasteries that aid the sick. Because of the shortage in personnel, the prisoners, thieves and prostitutes served and provided the nursing services for the time of the sentences. Thus, resulted to unrefined nursing services. In the 19th century, the modern nursing was developed. The Catholic congregations recruited females committed to establish a religious congregation to care for the needy and sick. Lutherans followed the catholic sisters and trained devoted women to serve the sick and young children. In 1863 the Red Cross Society was founded in Geneva with the goal to train nurses to care for the wounded during the war. As observed, the religious congregations mainly headed nursing. However, by the middle of the 18th century and start of 19th century, women that were not part of any congregation, called the civil nurses, provided the nursing services (Potter, 2009). Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) a well-educated, upper class, English lady was part of the civil nurses that promoted changes in the care of the ill. Which eventually formed a main basis for the modern practice of nursing. She was referred as “the Lady with the Lamp”, from a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Florence Nightingale was a philanthropist from a well off family lived in the era when women in the upper class were not associated in caring for the sick. Yet, she maintained her inspiration in studying diseases and its...
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